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3/9/2011: Mental Health Matters Advocacy Day

Speakers included Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Chair on Mental Hygiene, Senator Roy McDonald, Chair of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Senator Shirley L. Huntley, Ranking Member on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Assemblyman, Jeffrey Dinowitz Chair of Aging and Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan. Also, we will hear from other leading experts discussing significant mental health issues.


We will also have the wonderful mix of MHA members dedicated to community based mental health services, our grassroots colleagues from AFSP, our colleagues in the community as well as several high school students whose schools have been directly impacted by suicide completion.


Issues we will discuss include:


-Restoration to funding for community based services including those that directly impact parents with psychiatric disabilities


-Funding for Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention


-Rejection of the plan in the budget to limit accessibility to mental health medications


-Support for plans in the budget to have specialty behavioral health organizations work with existing stakeholders to develop greater coordination of care for mental health services


S. 3015 Huntley


TITLE OF BILL:


An act to amend the education law, in relation to directing the commissioner of education to develop and conduct programs designed to prevent suicide among youths


PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:


Allows the commissioner of the Department of Education to link from the DOE website, teen suicide training programs on the office of mental health website. Faculty in both public and private school would be alerted to this information every year if they wanted to conduct programs or disseminate the information to students.


SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:


Section 305 of education law amended with new subdivision 42; the commissioner, in consultation with the office of mental health, shall link the website of the Department of Education to the office of mental health regarding the prevention of suicide of youths. This information would be available to staffs of all public and private schools that have regular contact with students.


The Commissioner shall annually direct each school board of a public school or governing body of a private school to direct staff of the resources available to them.


JUSTIFICATION:


Teen suicide is an issue that affects families, friends, schools, and communities. suicides among youth have increased in the beginning of the 21st century and proactive measures must be put in place to prevent these deaths. Teens commit suicide for a myriad of reasons including but not limited to bullying, depression, drug abuse, and problems in an intimate relationship or a family. The lives of young adults must be protected as they will be the future leaders of our communities. Teen suicide prevention will inform the staff of schools that have regular contact with students about the resources available to them from the office of mental health regarding the prevention of suicide.


PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2009/10: S.4028 - Referred to Education.


FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:


Minimal.


EFFECTIVE DATE:


This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding the date on which it shall become law.