MEDIA ADVISORY: SENATOR BALL GIVES KEYNOTE SPEECH AT VETERANS’ MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING INITIATIVE

 

     

    Urges swift passage of TBI/PTSD ID Card Bill.

    ***Friday, February 17th at 8:00 a.m.***

    Brewster, N.Y. – (2/13/12) – On Friday, February 17, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) will give the keynote speech at the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NYS) Veterans’ Mental Health Training Initiative (VMHTI), which is a multi-year comprehensive training project aimed at increasing the number of community mental health professionals who are knowledgeable about the assessment and treatment of mental health issues specific to veterans and their families.

    Senator Ball is sponsoring a TBI/PTSD Identification card bill (S6089). Currently, there is no standard form of identification or instructions to assist law enforcement that comes in contact with a veteran or service member who has been diagnosed with TBI.

    TBI can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. Common symptoms of TBI, even in mild cases, are dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and/or increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation. Due to these symptoms, a person diagnosed with TBI, even a mild case, can appear to be intoxicated, or under the influence of a controlled substance.

    If any person is stopped by a law enforcement officer and has slurred speech, and/or appears to be slightly disorientated the police officer is more than likely to assume they have been drinking. The TBI identification card does not exclude a veteran or service member from taking a breathalyzer or cooperating with any police inquiry or investigation. Instead, the card quickly informs the law enforcement office of the veteran or service member’s condition and symptoms.

    “As a nation we benefit from having the strongest, brightest and best military force the world has ever known. Yet less than 1% of the population serves in uniform, making extraordinary sacrifices, so the rest of us may live safely under the greatness of freedom. The good news is that medical and other advances have our troops returning home, even after recovering from debilitating injuries. The bad news is that our young men and women, these great heroes, are returning home with very specific needs, sometimes going unaddressed. This must change and as a state we must always make sure we provide that safety net and the services required to honor our commitment to these heroes.” Senator Ball said.

    What:             Keynote speech at the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NYS) Veterans’ Mental Health Training Initiative (VMHTI)

    Who:               Senator Greg Ball

    When:             Friday, February 17, 2012
    8 a.m.

    Where:           Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel

    40 Civic Center Plaza

    Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
    For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Brittany Oat: (845) 200-9716.

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