Bill Text: NY A09290 | 2011-2012 | General Assembly | Introduced

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

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-1)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2012-02-14 - referred to veterans' affairs [A09290 Detail]

Download: New_York-2011-A09290-Introduced.html
                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y
                                   February 14, 2012
       Introduced  by M. of A. ORTIZ -- read once and referred to the Committee
         on Veterans' Affairs
       AN ACT to create a course of instruction to train mental health  provid-
         ers in veteran specific mental health issues
    1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
    2  the "veterans mental health training initiative".
    3    S  2.  Legislative intent. The legislature finds and declares that the
    4  state of New York and the country at large are facing a formidable chal-
    5  lenge in serving the mental health  needs  of  veterans  returning  from
    6  active  duty  in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Since the beginning of Operation
    7  Enduring Freedom and Operation  Iraqi  Freedom,  over  one  and  a  half
    8  million  active  duty  and reserve members of the United States military
    9  have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and nearly  one-half  million
   10  have been redeployed. With each deployment, our service members encount-
   11  er  extreme  strains on their physical and mental health, which, in many
   12  cases have resulted in unprecedented rates of health and  mental  health
   13  problems,  most  notably post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trau-
   14  matic brain injury (TBI). Equally  alarming,  are  numerous  reports  of
   15  increased  suicide,  addiction  and  homelessness  among  our  returning
   16  soldiers. Further, family members are struggling with the  ramifications
   17  of  extended and/or multiple deployments, resulting in serious emotional
   18  and psychological tolls.
   19    In addition to high rates of PTSD,  providers  in  the  mental  health
   20  community  have  also begun reporting increased cases of traumatic brain
   21  injury sustained in the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres of combat  due  in
   22  large  part  to  the  use of improvised explosive devices (IED). Equally
   23  disturbing is the rate at which  TBI  has  been  misdiagnosed  as  PTSD.
   24  Numerous reports have told the story of soldiers returning from Iraq and
   25  Afghanistan  with  brain  trauma,  but because there are no visible head
   26  wounds, symptoms such as memory loss and confusion are often mistaken as
   27  indicators of PTSD.
        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
       A. 9290                             2
    1    Many  returning  service  members,  particularly  National  Guard  and
    2  Reserves,  are not accessing services from the federal veterans adminis-
    3  tration or through the department of defense tricare system upon return-
    4  ing home; but rather, through community-based  organizations  and  agen-
    5  cies. Therefore, community-based providers are experiencing an influx of
    6  returning  service  members  for  whom they are not entirely prepared to
    7  provide treatment.
    8    To assure that such care be provided by an adequately  trained  mental
    9  health workforce, the state shall, through an open grant process, engage
   10  associations  of  social workers to design and conduct, in collaboration
   11  with an association of psychiatrists and associations  of  physicians  a
   12  multi-disciplinary  educational  and  training program for mental health
   13  providers to assist such providers, within their lawful scope  of  prac-
   14  tice,  to  identify, diagnose, and put forward a course of treatment for
   15  combat related PTSD, TBI  and  other  mental  health  issues,  including
   16  substance abuse. This course shall also serve to educate service members
   17  and  family  members  of  service members in accessing mental health and
   18  related social services.
   19    S 3. The office of mental health in consultation with the division  of
   20  veterans' affairs shall:
   21    a.  through  an  open and competitive process award a grant of no less
   22  than $500,000.00 for the purpose of developing and deploying  an  educa-
   23  tion  and  training  program  for health, mental health, and other human
   24  service providers. Such program will also provide training and education
   25  to veterans and family members of veterans on navigating  mental  health
   26  systems of care.
   27    Such  program  will be designed to maximize the treatment and recovery
   28  from combat related post-traumatic  stress  disorder  (PTSD),  traumatic
   29  brain  injury  (TBI)  and  other  combat  related  mental health issues,
   30  including substance abuse.   This grant  shall  be  distributed  in  the
   31  amount  of  $250,000.00  at the beginning of each state fiscal year, for
   32  two years, starting in 2012; however, a sum  to  be  determined  by  the
   33  office  of mental health may be forwarded for future years' expenditures
   34  if it is determined to be necessary for the proper implementation of the
   35  program;
   36    b. require  such  association  of  social  workers  to  implement  the
   37  purposes  of such grant in collaboration with an association of psychia-
   38  trists, an association of physicians and such  other  statewide  associ-
   39  ations, as the office of mental health in consultation with the division
   40  of veterans' affairs shall deem appropriate; and
   41    c.  have  the  power  to  audit  such association to ensure the proper
   42  expenditure of state funds.
   43    S 4. The association receiving such grant pursuant to section three of
   44  this act shall:
   45    a.  develop and deploy an education and training program as prescribed
   46  in section three of this act. Such  program  shall  be  consistent  with
   47  national  and  state guidelines regarding the diagnosis and treatment of
   48  PTSD, TBI and combat related mental health  issues  including  substance
   49  abuse;
   50    b. conduct such program in multiple locations across the state;
   51    c.    establish an advisory committee to include experts in the fields
   52  of neurology and psychiatry, to be recommended by the statewide  associ-
   53  ation  of physicians and the statewide association of psychiatrists. The
   54  advisory committee will also include experts in traumatology, PTSD, TBI,
   55  military  mental  health,  veterans'  health  and  administration,   and
   56  licensed  social  work  practitioners  with  a demonstrated expertise in
       A. 9290                             3
    1  veterans mental health. The advisory  committee  shall  also  include  a
    2  combat veteran and a family member of a combat veteran;
    3    d.  contract  with  an association of physicians and an association of
    4  psychiatrists to (1) advise and assist with the design  and  development
    5  of  core  content  with  respect  to matters relating to the practice of
    6  medicine; and (2) provide physician  experts  in  PTSD,  TBI  and  other
    7  combat related psychiatric and neurological disorders for the program;
    8    e.  produce a yearly report to the legislature, the division of veter-
    9  ans' affairs, office of mental health and the office of  alcoholism  and
   10  substance abuse services regarding the progress, expenditures and effec-
   11  tiveness of the program;
   12    f.  conduct  the  program  in  direct  consultation with the office of
   13  mental health and the division of veterans' affairs; and
   14    g. provide a certified continuing education course on veteran specific
   15  mental health issues, to be made available online.
   16    S 5. The office of alcoholism and substance abuse services shall:
   17    a. consult with the office of mental health and the division of veter-
   18  ans' affairs and provide guidelines necessary for the proper design  and
   19  implementation of this program; and
   20    b.  have  the  power  to  make recommendations to the office of mental
   21  health and the division of veterans' affairs and legislature as  to  the
   22  effectiveness and future need for such a program.
   23    S  6.  Nothing  in  this act shall be construed to affect the scope of
   24  practice of any profession licensed pursuant to the laws of  this  state
   25  or to authorize or compel any change therein.
   26    S 7. This act shall take effect April 1, 2012.