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States Respond to COVID-19: New York’s Trauma-Informed Care Council

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in February signed a bill amending New York’s mental hygiene law to establish an advisory council on trauma-informed care for COVID-19 front-line workers.

The advisory council will include representatives from behavioral health organizations; primary care practices; organizations representing nurses, doctors, and other front-line health workers; law enforcement; and other individuals who specialize in trauma-informed care research. As part of the council, participants will meet regularly to create a report that includes:

  • evidence-based tools to track the impact of COVID-19 collective trauma and the needs of front-line workers;
  • training opportunities for organizations that employ front-line workers on how to support employee mental health and wellness;
  • evidenced-based trauma-informed support resources and learning opportunities for front-line workers;
  • mechanisms to inform and refer front-line workers experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 to behavioral health services and support;
  • consultations with any organization, government entity, agency, or person that the work group determines might be able to provide information and expertise on the development and implementation of trauma-informed care for front-line workers; and
  • recommendations for how available funding may be used to support the front-line workforce.

As part of this legislation, the advisory council will create two reports. The first report, due before March, will include immediate needs for front-line health workers. The second report, due by December, will include findings and recommendations identified or developed by the work group on the long-term, trauma-informed care needs of workers on the front lines.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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