Governor Kathy Hochul Signs Assemblyman Michael Cusick’s Legislation Creating Statewide Veterans’ Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Task Force

Albany – Today Governor Kathy Hochul signed A5836 sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid Island) which creates a veterans’ mental health and suicide prevention task force. The task force will be tasked with making recommendations to the state on best mental health practices and suicide prevention efforts for military veterans. The task force will consist of members who have expertise in the fields of mental health and previous experience working with veterans. The task force will work with the New York State Suicide Prevention Council to produce a report, which will be provided to the Governor and the legislature, detailing recommendations for the better provision of mental health and suicide prevention services for veterans statewide.

Said Assemblyman Cusick of the legislation, “It is our responsibility to ensure that we do all that we can to serve our military veterans who have served us. In their service to our country our military veterans are often subjected to traumatizing events. They unfortunately often come home battling the long-term impacts of this trauma in the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health disorders. As a result, we see a concerning level of veteran mental health issues and veteran suicides. This legislation establishes a veterans mental health and suicide prevention task force which will be tasked with addressing this issue in New York State. Our military veterans deserve access to resources and services that will help them to combat these mental health challenges and protect their mental wellbeing. This legislation will ensure that there is a concerted statewide effort to make these resources and services readily available to all veterans who may be in need of mental health assistance.”

The legislation was sponsored in the New York State Senate by Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens).