COVID Trauma Focus of New Law

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Lupardo Cosponsors Bill Creating Advisory Council for Frontline Workers

(ALBANY, NY) – The traumatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline workers will be addressed following the signing of a bill into law cosponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. The legislation creates an advisory council that will address the behavioral health needs of essential workers as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to connect frontline workers to support resources and learning opportunities that are geared toward trauma survivors.

“Our community is deeply appreciative of the people working in healthcare, human services, public safety and other essential professions that have faced the pandemic head on,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the mental health of many of our frontline workers. This newly formed advisory council will help connect these workers with available services as they deal with the emotional aftermath of the pandemic.”

“The Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, Inc. applauds the recognition of the current and future mental health needs of frontline workers as a result of the pandemic,” said Keith Leahey, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier. “Our essential workers must be supported, and this bill is a giant step forward in ensuring these heroes get the help they need.”

According to experts, frontline workers are expected to be disproportionately affected by the collective trauma associated with COVID-19. Many will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. The impact of these disorders could impact absenteeism, disability, and unemployment, which can compound health care and mental health care access issues.