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Legislative Action Community

Mental Health Comes First

90% of US adults say the US is experiencing a mental health crisis.

Let’s do our work NYS and make mental health a priority in Education, Workforce, & Community


Ring the Bell

Five reasons to take action with five mental health initiatives.

Learn more about the specific policies for each issue in the MHANYS 2023 Legislative Briefing Book.

Mental Health Workforce Funding

Support a Cost of Living Adjustment of 3.2%, and $500 million for behavioral health workforce

  1. Assure a workforce sufficient to meet growing demand for mental health services
  2. Vacancy rates and turnover have negatively impacted patient care
  3. 800,000 human services workers and 3 million New Yorkers served
  4. 80% of the workforce are women; 50% are people of color
Building the Mental Health Workforce

Support Pension Study Legislation, a Mental Health Workforce Center and a new QMHA Title

  1. New York is experiencing a mental health workforce shortage that is contributing to long waiting lists, increases in unnecessary hospital emergency room visits and long ER wait times, and unmet need
  2. Thirty-nine counties in the state are currently designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
  3. Between 2019 and 2022, behavioral health visits were up roughly 17%
  4. Effective strategies are needed to attract and retain mental health workers
  5. New York’s bold, 5-year investment of $1 billion (FY2023-24) in mental health programs cannot be implemented as planned without a sufficient workforce
Higher Education and Mental Health

Support Mental Health Literacy and Whole Health Parity Legislation

  1. There is a growing mental health crisis on college campuses
  2. College student depression has increased by 135% over 8 years; Anxiety increased 110%
  3. College faculty and staff mental health has also grown worse
  4. Increased mental health literacy fosters treatment seeking behavior and reduces stigma
  5. Whole health parity prioritizes mental health to equal physical health

Policy Issue Brief – Mental Health and Higher Education

School Mental Health

Support the Mental Health Literacy of Students and School Personnel

  1. The COVID pandemic has negatively impacted student mental health
  2. The onset of mental illnesses begins at age 14; age 7 for anxiety disorders
  3. The School Mental Health Resource and Training Center supports mental health literacy
  4. Increased mental health literacy of teachers and school staff encourages timely treatment
  5. Excused absences for mental health contributes to a culture and climate of wellness
  6. Assure schools have suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention policies in place.

Policy Issue Brief – Mental Health and Schools


Support Increased Funding for Supportive Housing

  • Sufficient housing capacity supports community based recovery
  • The risk for experiencing homelessness increases without supportive housing
  • 40,000 New Yorkers rely on supportive housing in order to live independently in the community
  • Current funding levels have not kept pace with inflation. Providers are at risk of closing
  • Sufficient housing capacity avoids more costly settings

Policy Issue Brief – Housing


CORE advocates to create a more equitable and sustainable retirement system for all essential workers.



Want to learn about advocacy? Access our free course, videos, and handouts.

Want to learn about mental health-related policy? Check out our policy documents.



Throughout the years, MHANYS has had several legislative victories.

Discover the most recent!