Of the nearly 20 million people living in New York state, some 5 million (1 in 4) will experience a mental health problem in any given year. That means we are all affected by mental illness either personally or through a family member or close friend. If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health challenge, you are not alone and we are working hard to assure that help is available for all in need.

MHANYS public policy efforts are rooted in the hope of recovery that exists when appropriate services and treatments are available. Therefore, we strive to assure that all New Yorkers in need of mental health care can get help. We accomplish this by engaging individuals, families, and caregivers throughout the state, in order to identify goals for improving New York’s mental health care system. Then, through grassroots organizing, public education, active involvement in the political process, and collaboration with stakeholders, MHANYS pursues enactment of these goals.

We advocate for adequate funding for the mental health system so that care is available and accessible. We also fight every day to reduce the stigma too often associated with mental illness that often keeps people from getting the help they need. Public awareness and mental health literacy programs help reduce stigma, so we work toward the goal that one day no one will feel unwarranted shame about illnesses that are really no different from health issues like diabetes, heart disease or other treatable illnesses.

MHANYS and MHA affiliates actively educate and persuade mental health policy makers to pursue the components of MHANYS’ Legislative Agenda. MHANYS advances this agenda through its annual Legislative Conference and public policy activities in Albany and around the state. These efforts provide a voice to the concerns of many New Yorkers with mental health needs, promote individual opportunity, and work to ensure positive transformation of the mental system.

MHANYS keeps those interested in advances in mental health policy up-to-date through the MHANYS Mental Health Update.