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NY passes law allowing summer camps to hire mental health, other licensed health professionals

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- A bill letting summer camps hire mental health professionals, licensed social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other licensed professionals was passed by the State Senate Monday. The previous law did not allow these services to be administered by camps.

The bill, sponsored by 42nd District Sen. Jen Metzger allows these additional services to be offered in both day and overnight summer camps.

“Summer camp can be an incredible experience for kids, but we have to recognize that many children need additional support to truly flourish at camp, just as they do in school,” said Sen. Metzger. “This legislation will ensure that children with physical and mental health needs can access the care they need to thrive and enjoy camp to the fullest.”

“We thank Senator Metzger and the Senate for recognizing the need to ensure parity between the physical and mental health needs of children attending summer camps and urge the Assembly to do the same,” said New York State Camp Directors Association President Dan Weir.

“As camp directors, we see firsthand the debilitating mental health issues children and staff face today. From the child who identifies as LGBTQ+ to the camper who is suffering from disordered eating or is contemplating suicide, it is our responsibility to ensure they are safe and unfortunately, current law makes that extremely difficult,” Weir said.

“This legislation will provide peace of mind to parents, knowing that their children are in the capable hands of licensed practitioners at summer camps, and I urge the Assembly to pass this important piece of legislation this year so we can see it signed into law,” said Sen. Metzger.

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