senate Bill S5209

2021-2022 Legislative Session

Enacts the "minority mental health act" to establish the division of minority mental health within the office of mental health

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Current Bill Status - In Senate Committee Mental Health Committee

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

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view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 05, 2022 referred to mental health
Feb 26, 2021 referred to mental health

S5209 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Mental Health
Law Section:
Mental Hygiene Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 8 §§8.01 - 8.09, Ment Hyg L
Versions Introduced in Other Legislative Sessions:
2009-2010: S7023
2011-2012: S3063
2013-2014: S852
2015-2016: S1488
2017-2018: S3286
2019-2020: S4791

S5209 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Enacts the "minority mental health act" to establish the division of minority mental health within the office of mental health; provides that such division shall be responsible for assuring that mental health programs and services are culturally and linguistically appropriate to meet the needs of racial and ethnic minorities.

S5209 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

S5209 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                     S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
                        2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                             I N  S E N A T E
                             February 26, 2021
 Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
   printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health
 AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing  the
   division of minority mental health within the office of mental health,
   and providing for its powers and duties

   Section 1. Legislative  intent.  The  legislature  hereby  finds  that
 racial  and  ethnic  minorities  in  America  comprise a substantial and
 vibrant segment of the United States population. According to  the  2000
 United  States Census, minorities comprised the majority of the New York
 City population. Further, the legislature finds that nearly half of  all
 New  York  City  households speak a language other than English at home,
 and that the "enormous shortage  of  trained  bilingual  and  bicultural
 counselors, therapists, psychiatrists and social workers, make it impos-
 sible,  for many limited-English-proficient New Yorkers to obtain refer-
 rals and timely, appropriate mental health  services"  (New  York  State
 Assembly  Standing  Committee  on Mental Health report, AN EVALUATION OF
 2005).  Moreover, the legislature finds that the President's New Freedom
 Commission on Mental Health also found that the mental health system  in
 the  United  States  "has not kept pace with the diverse needs of racial
 and ethnic minorities.  Misunderstanding and  misinterpreting  behaviors
 have  led  to  tragic  consequences,  including  inappropriately placing
 minorities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems."  Consequently,
 the  legislature  finds that a division of minority mental health should
 be created to address the unique mental health needs of the  racial  and
 ethnic minority citizens of the state.
   §  2.  Short  title.  This  act shall be known and may be cited as the
 "minority mental health act".
  EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                       [ ] is old law to be omitted.


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