Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I-Castleton) has introduced legislation to create the “Health Care Workers Peer Support” program (A.3501) modeled after the Joseph P. Dwyer program, which provides peer support and counseling to veterans throughout the state. The legislation would provide the Office of Mental Health with $10 million to support the peer support program.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a great emotional toll on our healthcare workers, which has impacted their mental health and wellbeing, with some even taking their own lives, said Ashby, who sits on the Assembly Committee on Mental Health. “I am proud to introduce legislation to establish a peer-to-peer support program for these healthcare workers so they can begin to get the mental health support they deserve.”
Ashby points to the high successes in the Joseph P. Dwyer program for many veterans throughout the state. The peer-to-peer approach is a tried-and-true method for approaching mental health concerns, especially since the individuals counseling each other know the specific pressures faced by those in the same professional field.