Initiative Designed to Eliminate Stigma and Misinformation About Mental Illness and Substance Use Among Service Members, Veterans and Their Families
Provides Information About the Availability of Effective Treatment and Resources
Cuomo: "The trauma that service members experience in the line of duty can have lasting impacts on their health and they deserve our support when coming to terms with it. This measure will help remove the stigma around mental illness and substance use among our veterans, and in the process create a path for these heroes and their families to get the help they need during and after battle."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.3200-A/A.2758-A) creating a public education initiative designed to eliminate stigma and misinformation about mental illness and substance use among service members, veterans and their families. The initiative will also provide information about the availability of effective treatments and resources to address these issues and how to access them.
"The trauma that service members experience in the line of duty can have lasting impacts on their health and they deserve our support when coming to terms with it," Governor Cuomo said. "This measure will help remove the stigma around mental illness and substance use among our veterans, and in the process create a path for these heroes and their families to get the help they need during and after battle."
Through their service, many military personnel are exposed to or have experienced trauma, putting them at high risk of triggering underlying conditions, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance use disorders or other mental health issues. According to the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the high risk of triggering these conditions is complicated further by the pronounced stigma associated with mental illness within military communities.
This new law creates a public education initiative, coordinated by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the NYS Division of Veterans' Services, to help these brave Americans who have laid their lives on the line in service to their country by addressing this stigma, recognizing the reality of the mental health needs of military veterans and providing information about how to access resources so military personnel and their families can find help and treatment.
Senator Kevin S. Parker said, "Our state has to do more to support the brave men and women who protect us at home and abroad. This new law will ensure that we keep our veterans and their families informed about the mental health services that are available to them, while educating the public to effectively stomp out the stigma associated with mental illness. I applaud Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the Legislature for supporting my legislation, and joining me in making veterans mental health a priority in the State of New York."
Assembly Member Felix W Ortiz said, "Left untreated, combat-related mental health issues harms the lives of veterans and their families. Untreated combat related mental health issues can develop through substance abuse and even suicide. Our brave American veterans have served our country well. This law addresses the mental health needs of military veterans so they will no longer continue to suffer."