As an addendum to yesterday’s Executive Budget review, we have a few new
additions and a clarification.

Several other initiatives that pertain to the mental health community
include;

Budget Proposal

$5 Million for Specialized Supports which includes funding to launch a peer
support initiative for adult home residents with mental health conditions
to help transition these individuals to live in the community.

MHANYS Response

As a member of the NYSCAHR (New York State Coalition for Adult Home
Reform), MHANYS strongly supports this initiative. After the adult home
settlement agreement, we envisioned that the process of transition to the
community for adult home residents would happen more expeditiously. While
there has been some really good movement and innovative work as part of the
settlement agreement, the number of individuals who have transitioned to
community housing from adult homes are still lagging behind the numbers
that were anticipated. The combination of in reach by housing providers and
now more enhanced peer support will hopefully help individuals more quickly
navigate the process and transition to community housing.

Budget Proposal

Feasibility of Allowing Not for Profit Organizations to Access Group Help
Insurance through the NYSHIP Empire Plan

MHANYS Response

This initiative is intriguing. As all not for profit mental health agencies
know, the costs of running programs is dramatically impacted by insurance
and other ancillary costs. The ability to be part of a large insurance pool
that would provide similar or better benefits at less cost to employers and
employees is certainly worthwhile. We look forward to follow up on this
proposal.

Budget Proposal

$250,000 to Enhance Mental Health Supports in Community Schools

Community Schools would be able to utilize this funding for wrap around
services, support services and to combat bullying among other areas.

MHANYS Response

While we were very pleased to see the Governor reference the new Mental
Health Education law in the State of the State, we were disappointed there
was no funding in the budget to help implement this new law. We will
continue to work with our partners in the mental health advisory committee
through the framework of SED and MHANYS to identify ways to highlight
guidance documents and resources that would be useful to school districts
in implementation.

We do support funding for Mental Health Supports in Community Schools.
While the funding is small, it is a good first step that we hope to grow on.

Clarification on MHANYS Response to Reinvestment

In yesterday’s summary, I referenced that the Article 7 Reinvestment
language had to be restructured because there was not a dollar amount tied
to each of the bed closures. I was wrong. The existing language reflects
the funding from the bed closures; though everything else was accurate. The
State is proposing the closing of one hundred beds this year to be
reinvested in community services at a value of $11 million. We are very
appreciative that the State continues their reinvestment support that will
end up being over one hundred million dollars when fully annualized this
year.

Action, Action, Action

Later this week, registration will be out for MHANYS Mental Health Matters
Legislative Day on March 14th. Come Speak Out in support of mental health
support and services.

Glenn Liebman, CEO

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