Governor Hochul Signs Legislation To Provide Addiction & Mental Health Services Training For First Responders

Governor Kathy Hochul recentlysigned legislation S.07144/A.07686 which provides addiction and mental health services training, including crisis intervention team training, mental health first aid, implicit bias and naloxone training, to firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in regions where crisis stabilization centers are located.  

“I am proud to sign this legislation that will provide our brave first responders with the tools needed to assist New Yorkers who struggle with mental health and addiction,” Governor Hochul said. “The pandemic has only made things harder for New Yorkers, and it is critical that our first responders and emergency services personnel have the proper training, tools and resources to help keep our streets and subways safe.”       

This bill will ensure that the appropriate emergency services personnel complete the most up-to-date training in issues related to addiction and mental health issues. This training is needed to address the growing mental health crisis, and will be especially necessary in catchment areas of crisis stabilization centers.  

According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, drug overdoses and suicides have overtaken traffic accidents as the two leading causes of death among Americans ages 25 to 44. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also states that suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in New York.

In 2020, for every 100,000 New Yorkers, approximately eight people lost their life to suicide; it is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34 years old; and for individuals between the ages of 35 and 54, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death.