NYS Senator Eric Adams announces passage of S7961, his Veterans Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act, to improve health care for NYS veterans
Senator Adams states: “My Veterans Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Act will require the New York State Veterans Affairs Commission to consult with the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Department of Health, and the Department of Labor to develop a New York State interagency plan to improve outreach to, assessment of, and care for veterans and their families who are experiencing mental health and/or substance abuse problems.
“As our brave women and men return from service overseas, we have seen the number who suffer from mental health issues or turn to substance abuse to escape post-traumatic stress increase dramatically. Although federal programs exist, New York State must develop its own plan to focus specifically on mental health and substance abuse.
“The interagency plan will examine the following issues:
o Veterans housing that is accessible for those with mental or physical handicaps
o Suicide Prevention
o Services targeted for female veterans
o Peer support and outreach
o Services targeted for a child, spouse, or domestic partner of a veteran
o Employment assistance
o Coordination of information about veterans programs
“A few final notes: First, an annual report will be sent to the governor to detail progress. Second, there will be little or no financial cost resulting from this legislation because all members of the Commission serve in an unpaid capacity. Finally, this work sets the stage for future program development to provide relief to veterans who are struggling with mental health issues.”