Establishes the frontline workers trauma informed care advisory council to connect frontline workers impacted by COVID-19 to evidenced-based trauma-informed support resources and learning opportunities.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10629A
SPONSOR: Rules (Gunther)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing the
frontline workers trauma informed care advisory council
To establish an advisory council within the Office of Mental Health that
would ensure the trauma related behavioral health needs of essential
workers during the COVID-19 pandemic are met.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new section 7.48 to the Mental Hygiene Law to establish
the parameters of the Frontline Workers Trauma Informed Care Advisory
Council within the Office of Mental Health. The council shall issue a
report to the Legislature no later than December 1, 2020.
Section 2 establishes the effective date.
Collective trauma is a psychological trauma experienced by a group of
people of any size, up to and including an entire society in response to
a mass traumatizing event. Mental health researchers are already antic-
ipating that there will be collective trauma associated with the COVID-
19 pandemic. In the broadest sense, this collective trauma will be expe-
rienced globally, but more specifically, it will be experienced
disproportionately by certain subgroups of people exposed more directly
to the impact of the pandemic, such as frontline workers. Anticipating
the mental health needs of these workers is essential for their own
personal well-being and for those individuals who rely on their vital
At this time, it is uncertain how long this pandemic will last or how
long it will be before some sense of normalcy is restored. It is crit-
ical, however, to plan now for mental health interventions to be put in
place in anticipation of the emotional and psychological needs of these
frontline workers. Based on our knowledge of trauma, and by extension
collective trauma, we can anticipate that many of these individuals will
experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, and
substance use disorders. The impact of these disorders will include
absenteeism, disability, and unemployment, which can compound health
care and mental health care access issues. This advisory council will
ensure that trauma related behavioral health needs of essential workers
during the COVID-19 pandemic are met.
This is a new bill.
None to state
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
June 10, 2020
Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Gunther) --
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 establishing the
frontline workers trauma informed care advisory council
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new section
2 7.48 to read as follows:
3 § 7.48 Frontline workers trauma informed care advisory council.
4 (a) The commissioner shall establish the frontline workers trauma
5 informed care advisory council within the office. The council shall
6 consist of, at a minimum, the commissioner or his or her designee; the
7 commissioner of the department of health or his or her designee; the
8 commissioner of aging or his or her designee; the commissioner of the
9 office for people with developmental disabilities or his or her desig-
10 nee; the commissioner of the office for addiction services and supports
11 or his or her designee; the commissioner of the department of
12 corrections and community supervision; the commissioner of the office of
13 children and family services or his or her designee; the commissioner of
14 the department of labor or his or her designee; a representative of the
15 state conference of local mental hygiene service directors as created
16 under article forty-one of this chapter; and twenty-one additional
17 members of which seven shall be appointed by the governor, six shall be
18 appointed by the speaker of the assembly, six shall appointed by the
19 temporary president of the senate, and one each shall be appointed by
20 the minority leader of the assembly and the senate. Each appointed
21 member shall be a representative of one of the following: (1) behav-
22 ioral health advocacy organizations; (2) health care provider organiza-
23 tions; (3) employee organizations representing nurses, doctors, and
24 other frontline workers; (4) human service providers, including but not
25 limited to a human service provider as defined pursuant to subdivision
26 four of section four hundred sixty-four-b of the social services law;
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 10629--A 2
1 (5) law enforcement agencies; (6) individuals who have expertise in
2 fields of discipline related to trauma informed care; and any other
3 group, association, organization, or individual deemed appropriate by
4 the commissioner. For purposes of this section, frontline workers shall
5 include, but shall not be limited to, healthcare workers, first respon-
6 ders, direct care workers, public safety workers, transportation work-
7 ers, food service workers and others who have been exposed to trauma
8 associated with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic while in the
9 line of duty.
10 (b) Council members shall receive no compensation for their services
11 as members of the council, but shall be reimbursed for actual and neces-
12 sary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The members
13 of the council shall choose one member of the council to be a chair-
14 person and one member to be co-chairperson.
15 (c) The council shall be established within thirty days of the effec-
16 tive date of this section.
17 (d) The council shall:
18 (1) Identify evidence-based tools to track the impact of COVID-19
19 associated collective trauma and the needs of frontline workers;
20 (2) Identify or develop training opportunities for organizations that
21 employ frontline workers on how to support the mental health and well-
22 ness of their impacted employees;
23 (3) Identify evidenced-based trauma-informed support resources and
24 learning opportunities for frontline workers;
25 (4) Identify or develop a mechanism to inform and refer impacted
26 frontline workers experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 to
27 behavioral health services and supports;
28 (5) Consult with any organization, government entity, agency, or
29 person that the council determines may be able to provide information
30 and expertise on the development and implementation of trauma informed
31 care for frontline workers; and
32 (6) Submit a report to the governor, the speaker of the assembly, and
33 the temporary president of the senate by December first, two thousand
34 twenty on the duties described in this section, including recommenda-
35 tions to effectively implement any initiative identified or developed by
36 the workgroup and included in its report.
37 (e) To the extent federal funds are available, grants shall be made
38 available to entities that employ frontline workers or other organiza-
39 tions with relevant experience, for the sole purpose of providing
40 support and implementing strategies or initiatives identified by the
41 frontline workers trauma informed care workgroup for their workforce.
42 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.