senate Bill S7819

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Establishes a peer support program for veterans

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 12, 2014 referred to mental health and developmental disabilities

S7819 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6516
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Mental Hygiene Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง7.42, Ment Hyg L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
A9679A

S7819 - Bill Texts

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Establishes a peer support program for veterans.

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BILL NUMBER:S7819

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to
establishing a peer support program for veterans

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a certified peer
counselors program for veterans who are suffering from any or
combination of the following: mental illness, alcohol abuse, and
chemical dependence.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a
new section 7.42 that requires Commissioner of mental health,
commissioner of alcoholism and substance abuse services and director
of division of veterans affair to develop a minimum of two regional
peer support services programs for veterans. The program shall
include, but not limited to, peer counseling for mental illness
including post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and substance abuse
counseling, information on access to services, family support
services, and specialized services for female service members and
veterans.

JUSTIFICATION: Trauma and stress experienced in battle can often
return home with veterans in the form of PTSD. Veterans may turn to
medication or alcohol to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. This behavior
can sadly lead to addiction and abuse.

The supports of peers, or individuals who have had similar
experiences, are valuable for people in all walk of life, but
especially with veterans in helping them heal from the scars of war.
Furthermore, peer counseling is a proven method of helping veterans
overcome their condition. It is vital that our veterans are provided
with counseling. This peer to Peer program will allow veterans to
support one another through one of the most difficult times in their
lives.

The sooner that this program is put in place, the sooner the veterans
will be able to get the help they need and deserve.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011/12 - A9679A - Ref to Ways and Means

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective
immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or
regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its
effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on
or before such effective date.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7819

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 12, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop-
  mental Disabilities

AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation  to  establishing  a
  peer support program for veterans

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a  new  section
7.42 to read as follows:
S 7.42 PEER SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR VETERANS.
  (A)  FOR  THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "PEER SUPPORT SERVICES"
SHALL MEAN ANY SERVICE DESIGNATED BY THE OFFICE USED  IN  THE  TREATMENT
AND  RECOVERY  OF MENTAL ILLNESS, ALCOHOL ABUSE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND/OR
CHEMICAL DEPENDENCE THAT IS DELIVERED BY A CERTIFIED PEER COUNSELOR; AND
THE TERM "CERTIFIED  PEER  COUNSELOR"  SHALL  MEAN  AN  INDIVIDUAL  WITH
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A MENTAL HEALTH RECIPIENT AND/OR AN INDIVIDUAL IN
RECOVERY  FROM  ALCOHOL  ABUSE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND/OR CHEMICAL DEPEND-
ENCE, WHO HAS SERVED IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY  OR  NAVAL  SERVICE  OF  THE
UNITED  STATES AND HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM SUCH SERVICE OTHERWISE THAN BY
DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE AND AS DOCUMENTED BY HIS OR HER DISCHARGE  PAPERS
OR WHO HAS BEEN FURLOUGHED TO THE RESERVE COMPONENTS OF THE ARMED FORCES
OF  THE UNITED STATES WHO HAS TRAINING, CREDENTIALS OR EXPERIENCE RECOG-
NIZED BY THE OFFICE.
  (B) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO  THE  CONTRARY,  THE
COMMISSIONER,  IN  CONJUNCTION  WITH  THE COMMISSIONER OF ALCOHOLISM AND
SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES, AND THE STATE  DIRECTOR  OF  THE  DIVISION  OF
VETERANS'  AFFAIRS SHALL DEVELOP AND ESTABLISH A MINIMUM OF TWO REGIONAL
PEER SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAMS FOR VETERANS. SERVICES  PROVIDED  BY  THE
PEER SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, PEER
COUNSELING  FOR MENTAL ILLNESS INCLUDING POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER,
ALCOHOL  AND  SUBSTANCE  ABUSE  COUNSELING,  INFORMATION  ON  ACCESS  TO
SERVICES,  FAMILY  SUPPORT  SERVICES,  AND WHERE APPLICABLE, SPECIALIZED
SERVICES FOR FEMALE VETERANS.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09513-01-3

S. 7819                             2

  (C) THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONJUNCTION  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF  THE
OFFICE OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES AND THE STATE DIRECTOR
OF  THE  DIVISION  OF  VETERANS'  AFFAIRS  SHALL FOSTER PROGRAMS FOR THE
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONS CAPABLE OF  PROVIDING  THE  SERVICES
SET  FORTH  IN THIS SECTION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A PROCESS OF
ISSUING, EITHER DIRECTLY OR THROUGH CONTRACT, CREDENTIALS FOR  CERTIFIED
PEER COUNSELORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING:
  1.  THE  OFFICE  SHALL  ESTABLISH MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR CERTIFIED
PEER COUNSELORS IN ALL PHASES OF DELIVERY OF SERVICES  TO  VETERANS  WHO
ARE  SUFFERING  FROM  ANY  OR  A  COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING:   MENTAL
ILLNESS, ALCOHOL ABUSE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND/OR CHEMICAL DEPENDENCE THAT
SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, COMPLETION OF APPROVED COURSES  OF
STUDY  OR  EQUIVALENT  ON-THE-JOB EXPERIENCE IN MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING
AND/OR ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELING; AND
  2. THE OFFICE SHALL ESTABLISH  PROCEDURES  FOR  ISSUING,  DIRECTLY  OR
THROUGH  CONTRACT,  CREDENTIALS  TO  CERTIFIED  PEER COUNSELORS WHO MEET
MINIMUM  QUALIFICATIONS,  AND  SHALL  FURTHER  ESTABLISH  PROCEDURES  TO
SUSPEND, REVOKE, OR ANNUL SUCH CREDENTIALS FOR GOOD CAUSE.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
have become a law; provided, however, that  effective  immediately,  the
addition,  amendment  and/or  repeal of any rule or regulation necessary
for the implementation of this act on its effective date  is  authorized
and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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