Bill S5066-2011

Creates a course of instruction to train mental health providers in veteran specific mental health issues

Creates a course of instruction to train mental health providers in veteran specific mental health issues.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 18, 2012: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO VETERANS, HOMELAND SECURITY AND MILITARY AFFAIRS
  • Jun 7, 2011: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • May 3, 2011: REFERRED TO VETERANS, HOMELAND SECURITY AND MILITARY AFFAIRS

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs - Jun 7, 2011
Ayes (13): Ball, Flanagan, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Larkin, McDonald, Zeldin, Avella, Stewart-Cousins, Carlucci, Klein, Savino
Ayes W/R (1): Addabbo
VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs - Jan 18, 2012
Ayes (13): Ball, Flanagan, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, McDonald, Zeldin, Addabbo, Avella, Stewart-Cousins, Carlucci, Klein, Savino
Excused (1): Larkin

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5066

TITLE OF BILL: An act to create a course of instruction to train mental health providers in veteran specific mental health issues

PURPOSE: Provides for a grant, through the Division of Veterans Affairs, for the purpose of training social workers in a course of study related to the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, TBI and combat related mental health issues to include substance abuse.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 short title "The Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative";

Section 2. Legislative Intent;

Section 3 instructs the Division of Veterans Affairs to award a grant through an open and competitive process of no less than $500,000 for the purpose of training social workers, in a course of study related to the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, TBI and combat related mental health issues to include substance abuse. Provides that Veterans Affairs shall have the power to audit such association to ensure the proper expenditure of state funds;

Section 4 Describes what the association receiving the grant must do in relationship to the course of study;

Section 5 Provides that the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) will consult with the Division of Veterans Affairs and provide guidelines necessary for the proper implementation of this program;

Section 6 Provides that the New York State Education Department, as part of continuing education for social workers, shall require a course of study related to the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, TBI and combat related mental health issues to include substance abuse.

Section 7 Limitations on the scope of practice.

Section 8 Effective Date

JUSTIFICATION: The State of New York and the country at large are facing a formidable challenge in serving the mental health needs of veterans returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, over one and a half million active duty and reserve members of the U.S. military have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and nearly one half million have been redeployed. With each deployment, our service members encounter extreme strains on their physical and mental health, which, in many cases have resulted in unprecedented rates of health and mental health problems, most notably post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Equally alarming, are numerous reports of increased suicide, addiction and homelessness among our returning soldiers. Further, family members are struggling with the ramifications of extended and/or multiple deployments, resulting in serious emotional and psychological tolls.

In addition to high rates of PTSD, providers in the mental health community have also begun reporting increased cases of traumatic brain injury sustained in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of combat due in large part to the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Equally disturbing is the rate at which TBI has been misdiagnosed as PTSD. Numerous reports have told the story of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with brain trauma, but because there are no visible head wounds, symptoms such as memory loss and confusion are often mistaken as indicators of PTSD. Further, recent Post Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA) data show that up to 38% of soldiers and 31% of Marines are suffering from negative psychological symptoms. In addition, the Department of Defense Task Force on Veterans' Mental Health recently reported elevated rates of major depression and substance abuse.

Many returning service members, particularly National Guard and Reserves, are not accessing services from the federal Veterans Administration or through the Department of Defense Tricare system upon returning home; but rather, through community-based organizations and agencies. Therefore, community-based providers are experiencing an influx of returning service members for whom they are not entirely prepared to provide treatment. These recent trends have been substantiated through sources such as the 2007 Report of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health, citing an overwhelming need to train mental health providers in mental illnesses with unique etiological roots to combat situations.

To assure that such care be provided by an adequately trained mental health workforce, the state will, through an open grant process, engage state associations of social workers, psychiatrists, doctors and other appropriate health care professionals to train mental health providers in the identification, diagnosis, and course of treatment for combat related PTSD and other mental health issues to include substance abuse. This course shall also serve to educate service members and family members of service members in accessing mental health and psycho social services.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2008: 5.6799-a/A.10069-a Veto 75 2009-10: S.1195-a referred to Finance, A.5993-a referred to Mental Health

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: $500,000 for the purpose of training social workers, of all classifications, in a course of study related to the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, TBI and combat related mental health issues to include substance abuse. This grant shall be distributed in the amount of 5250,000.00 at the beginning of each state fiscal year, for 2 years, starting in 2012; however, a sum to he determined by the Division of Veterans Affairs may be forwarded for future year's expenditures if it is determined to be necessary for the proper implementation of the program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1, 2012


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5066 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 3, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. FUSCHILLO, AVELLA, BONACIC, DUANE, GRISANTI, HANNON, JOHNSON, LANZA, LAVALLE, LIBOUS, MAZIARZ, RANZENHOFER, SAMPSON, SEWARD, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Mili- tary Affairs AN ACT to create a course of instruction to train mental health provid- ers in veteran specific mental health issues THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "veterans mental health training initiative". S 2. Legislative intent. The legislature finds and declares that the state of New York and the country at large are facing a formidable chal- lenge in serving the mental health needs of veterans returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, over one and a half million active duty and reserve members of the United States military have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and nearly one-half million have been redeployed. With each deployment, our service members encount- er extreme strains on their physical and mental health, which, in many cases have resulted in unprecedented rates of health and mental health problems, most notably post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trau- matic brain injury (TBI). Equally alarming, are numerous reports of increased suicide, addiction and homelessness among our returning soldiers. Further, family members are struggling with the ramifications of extended and/or multiple deployments, resulting in serious emotional and psychological tolls. In addition to high rates of PTSD, providers in the mental health community have also begun reporting increased cases of traumatic brain injury sustained in the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres of combat due in large part to the use of improvised explosive devices (IED). Equally
disturbing is the rate at which TBI has been misdiagnosed as PTSD. Numerous reports have told the story of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with brain trauma, but because there are no visible head wounds, symptoms such as memory loss and confusion are often mistaken as indicators of PTSD. Many returning service members, particularly National Guard and Reserves, are not accessing services from the federal veterans adminis- tration or through the department of defense tricare system upon return- ing home; but rather, through community-based organizations and agen- cies. Therefore, community-based providers are experiencing an influx of returning service members for whom they are not entirely prepared to provide treatment. To assure that such care be provided by an adequately trained mental health workforce, the state shall, through an open grant process, engage associations of social workers to design and conduct, in collaboration with an association of psychiatrists and associations of physicians a multi-disciplinary educational and training program for mental health providers to assist such providers, within their lawful scope of prac- tice, to identify, diagnose, and put forward a course of treatment for combat related PTSD, TBI and other mental health issues, including substance abuse. This course shall also serve to educate service members and family members of service members in accessing mental health and related social services. S 3. The office of mental health in consultation with the division of veterans' affairs shall: a. through an open and competitive process award a grant of no less than $500,000.00 for the purpose of developing and deploying an educa- tion and training program for health, mental health, and other human service providers. Such program will also provide training and education to veterans and family members of veterans on navigating mental health systems of care. Such program will be designed to maximize the treatment and recovery from combat related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other combat related mental health issues, including substance abuse. This grant shall be distributed in the amount of $250,000.00 at the beginning of each state fiscal year, for two years, starting in 2012; however, a sum to be determined by the office of mental health may be forwarded for future years' expenditures if it is determined to be necessary for the proper implementation of the program; b. require such association of social workers to implement the purposes of such grant in collaboration with an association of psychia- trists, an association of physicians and such other statewide associ- ations, as the office of mental health in consultation with the division of veterans' affairs shall deem appropriate; and c. have the power to audit such association to ensure the proper expenditure of state funds. S 4. The association receiving such grant pursuant to section three of this act shall: a. develop and deploy an education and training program as prescribed in section three of this act. Such program shall be consistent with national and state guidelines regarding the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, TBI and combat related mental health issues including substance abuse; b. conduct such program in multiple locations across the state;
c. establish an advisory committee to include experts in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, to be recommended by the statewide associ- ation of physicians and the statewide association of psychiatrists. The advisory committee will also include experts in traumatology, PTSD, TBI, military mental health, veterans' health and administration, and licensed social work practitioners with a demonstrated expertise in veterans mental health. The advisory committee shall also include a combat veteran and a family member of a combat veteran; d. contract with an association of physicians and an association of psychiatrists to (1) advise and assist with the design and development of core content with respect to matters relating to the practice of medicine; and (2) provide physician experts in PTSD, TBI and other combat related psychiatric and neurological disorders for the program; e. produce a yearly report to the legislature, the division of veter- ans' affairs, office of mental health and the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services regarding the progress, expenditures and effec- tiveness of the program; f. conduct the program in direct consultation with the office of mental health and the division of veterans' affairs; and g. provide a certified continuing education course on veteran specific mental health issues, to be made available online. S 5. The office of alcoholism and substance abuse services shall: a. consult with the office of mental health and the division of veter- ans' affairs and provide guidelines necessary for the proper design and implementation of this program; and b. have the power to make recommendations to the office of mental health and the division of veterans' affairs and legislature as to the effectiveness and future need for such a program. S 6. Nothing in this act shall be construed to affect the scope of practice of any profession licensed pursuant to the laws of this state or to authorize or compel any change therein. S 7. This act shall take effect April 1, 2012.

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