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A07552 Summary:

BILL NOA07552A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07079-A
 
SPONSORBurdick
 
COSPNSREachus, Shimsky, Beephan, Bendett, McGowan, Gunther, Seawright, Santabarbara
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §7.51, Ment Hyg L
 
Establishes the "first responder peer support program act" which supplies peer-to-peer mental health programs to first responders.
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A07552 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7552A
 
SPONSOR: Burdick
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to the "First Responder Peer Support Program Act"   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Enacts the first responder peer support program act.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 titles the bill "First Responder Peer Support Program Act". Section 2 amends the mental hygiene law by adding new section 7.51 which defines the terms "the program" and "eligible entities". Additionally, (B) provides that the commissioner, subject to appropriation, shall establish a statewide grant program that provides grants to eligible entities for the purpose of establishing peer-topeer mental health programs for first responders. (c) provides that the commissioner shall establish standards applicable to the program. Such standards shall include, but not limited to, initial and continued training for first responder peer volunteers, administrative staffing needs, and best practices for addressing the needs of each first responder served, including, but not limited to, a warm handoff to mental health services for individuals identified as being in duress. (d) provides that the commissioner shall not require the recipient of any grant under this section to maintain records on first responders seeking support or report any personal identifying information directly or indirectly to the commissioner. Section 3 states the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: First responders are frequently exposed to distressing situations. To help address the emotional toll on these individuals it is vital that the state provides accessible resources such as peer support programs. The FBI has acknowledged that peer support programs are a unique service as they allow individuals with personal experience to assist others dealing with similar experiences through increased awareness, vigilance, empathic responses and emotional validation. These Peer support services have been proven effective in identifying risk factors for behavioral and mental health problems, reducing stigma, creating a welcoming envi- ronment and connecting individuals with outside professional resources for additional care when necessary. Modeled after the highly successful Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer to Peer Support Program, which was launched in 2012, this bill would estab- lish a First Responder Peer Support Program. This program would focus on prioritizing the mental well-being of the state's volunteer and paid first responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, emergency dispatchers and other personnel as desig- nated by the Governor. By enacting this bill we can ensure that first responders have access to the necessary systems to address some of the challenges they face.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S8610A Serino: Died in Finance   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A07552 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         7552--A
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      May 25, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  BURDICK,  EACHUS, SHIMSKY, BEEPHAN, BENDETT,
          MCGOWAN -- read once and referred to the Committee on Mental Health --
          committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
          recommitted to said committee
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  mental  hygiene  law, in relation to the "First
          Responder Peer Support Program Act"
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  This  act  shall  be known and may be cited as the "First
     2  Responder Peer Support Program Act".
     3    § 2. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new section 7.51 to
     4  read as follows:
     5  § 7.51 First responder peer support program.
     6    (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms  shall  have
     7  the following meanings:
     8    1. "The program" shall mean the "first responder peer support program"
     9  established by this section.
    10    2.  "Eligible entities" shall mean an entity or county first responder
    11  peer program which submits to the commissioner an application, in a form
    12  prescribed by the commissioner, containing such information  and  assur-
    13  ances  as  the commissioner may require to provide initial and continued
    14  training in mental illness, including but not limited to, helping  indi-
    15  viduals gain a better understanding about the effects of trauma, repeti-
    16  tive  exposure,  signs  and  symptoms of trauma, triggers of a traumatic
    17  event, coping mechanisms,  suicide  prevention,  as  well  as  available
    18  tools,  resources,  and local mental health services for first responder
    19  peer volunteers, volunteer and  paid  individuals  who  are  trained  to
    20  respond  to  emergency  situations  and provide immediate assistance and
    21  care to those in need.  This would include individuals who work as fire-
    22  fighters,  police  officers, 9-1-1 operators, emergency dispatchers  and
    23  emergency medical services  personnel.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09287-03-3

        A. 7552--A                          2
 
     1    (b)  The  commissioner,  in  consultation with the commissioner of the
     2  department of health, the office of fire  prevention  and  control,  the
     3  municipal  police training council,  and  the  superintendent  of  state
     4  police, shall, subject to appropriation,  establish  a  statewide  grant
     5  program  to  be known as the "first responder peer support program". The
     6  program shall provide grants, with appropriations therefor, to  eligible
     7  entities  for  the  purpose  of  establishing peer-to-peer mental health
     8  programs for first responders.
     9    (c) The commissioner  shall  establish  standards  applicable  to  the
    10  program.  Such  standards  shall include, but not be limited to, initial
    11  and continued training for first responder peer volunteers,  administra-
    12  tive staffing needs, and best practices for addressing the needs of each
    13  first responder served, including, but not limited to, a warm handoff to
    14  mental health services for individuals identified as being in duress.
    15    (d)  The  commissioner  shall  not  require the recipient of any grant
    16  under this section to  maintain  records  on  first  responders  seeking
    17  support or report any personal identifying information directly or indi-
    18  rectly  to  the  commissioner,  a first responder's employer, or a first
    19  responder's organization.
    20    § 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
    21  it shall have become a law.
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