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Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20150&cosponId=17043
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 29, 2015 11:11 AM
From: Senator John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation to Create a Veteran Peer to Peer Counseling Program
 
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 1133 from last session. This legislation creates a pilot program for peer-to-peer counseling among veterans.

While many veterans return from active duty with physical injuries and disabilities, a larger number often return with psychological injuries connected to the trauma and stress associated with combat. Post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), traumatic brain injury (“TBI”), military sexual trauma and alarming rates of suicide among active duty personnel and veterans require the Commonwealth to ensure that the proper mental health, addiction, and other services are available to our military personnel.

Under my proposal, the Secretary of Health will establish a minimum of 4 regional and geographically diverse peer support programs for veterans to ensure that veterans and military personnel in the Commonwealth have access to the counseling services. The Secretary will work with the Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol and the Adjutant General in developing the program and certifying veterans who have suffered from similar conditions as peer counselors. The Department of Health would also be authorized to contract with existing nonprofits who offer such services to carry out the intent of the program.

Previous cosponsors of the legislation included:
KITCHEN, TEPLITZ, BREWSTER, FONTANA, ARGALL, HUGHES, SMITH, VULAKOVICH, BLAKE, WILEY, RAFFERTY, SCHWANK, GORDNER, COSTA, BOSCOLA, FARNESE and BROWNE

If you have any questions about the legislation, please contact Richard Fox in my office at 787-7105 or rfox@pasenate.com



Introduced as SB491