Provides information on where to seek help regarding sexual trauma in the military.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to providing information on where to seek help in regards to military sexual trauma
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To disseminate information to veterans and make available at the Office of Mental Health and the Division of Veterans Affairs websites where they can seek treatment and counseling for Military Sexual Trauma. (MST)
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends Section 7.09 of the Mental Hygiene Law by adding a new subdivision (k) to require the Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health to disseminate information to veterans regarding which United States Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, outpatient clinics, community-based outpatient clinics, vet centers or other United States Department of Veterans Affairs facilities veterans can seek treatment, counseling and resources for military sexual trauma experienced while on active duty or during military training.
Section 2: Effective Date.
JUSTIFICATION: In many instances those veterans who have returned home from combat and/or have completed their tour of duty have had a myriad of experiences that sometimes adversely affect them. The experiences and events they go through can sometimes lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
However, female and male veterans can also through traumatic experiences that are not discussed as often as PTSD. One trauma they go through in particular is Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
It is imperative that information of where to seek treatment and counseling for Military Sexual Trauma is forwarded to veterans and posted on both the Office of Mental Health's websites and the Division of Veterans Affairs website. Providing these veterans with information will enable them to know where to go for help and services.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs states that in a screening for military personnel seeking VA healthcare 1 in 5 women responded "yes" when screened for MST. However, according to Pentagon statistics nearly 1 in 3 women in the military is at risk for sexual assault, twice as many as the general population. In March 2008, the Department of Defense (DOD) released their fourth annual sexual assault, which stated that there were 2,688 reports of sexual assaults in 2007. Although this is down from the 2,947 allegations of sexual assaults reported in 2006, the DOD changed their reporting requirements from calendar year to fiscal year, so that there is no way to tell if this reflects a decrease in sexual assaults or not.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013 A6227: referred to Veterans' Affairs Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Unknown.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the commissioner of mental health shall promulgate any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act on or before its effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 909--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. PARKER, AVELLA, BRESLIN, ESPAILLAT, MONTGOMERY, O'BRIEN, SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs -- recommitted to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to providing infor- mation on where to seek help in regards to military sexual trauma THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 7.09 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new subdivision (k) to read as follows: (K) THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DISSEMINATE INFORMATION TO VETERANS REGARD- ING WHICH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTERS, OUTPATIENT CLINICS, COMMUNITY-BASED OUTPATIENT CLINICS, VET CENTERS OR OTHER UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FACILITIES VETERANS CAN SEEK TREATMENT, COUNSELLING AND RESOURCES FOR MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA EXPERIENCED WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY OR DURING MILITARY TRAINING. SUCH INFORMATION SHALL BE POSTED ON THE OFFICES WEBSITE WITH A LINK TO THE WEBSITE OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND A LINK TO THE WEBSITE OF THE STATE DIVISION OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the commissioner of mental health shall promulgate any rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this act on or before its effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02827-05-4