On Tuesday, MHANYS provided testimony at the annual Legislative Budget Hearing for Mental Hygiene.
Given the mission of our organization, we carry a lot of different issues. Many of these are highlighted in the testimony. For the actual oral presentation, we focused on two major issues of concern. The first was workforce. While highlighting all that the legislature and Governor did for the direct care workforce last year, we discussed the need for increased funding on a yearly basis to provide a living wage for the workforce. As we said at the hearing, the funding increase was a good first step but it is a first step in a staircase of need. As an initial funding request, we are advocating for $11.8 million for a 3.25% increase for the workforce effective on January 1, 2019.
The other issue that we brought up was related to the operationalization of the Mental Health in Education bill set to begin on July 1. To many of us, this legislation represents a ‘seismic’ change in the way that mental health is viewed by youth and educators. We want to make sure that we get this right. We are very supportive of our partners at SED and in the mental health advisory committee in providing guidance and support to the field, but we also need funding to help insure there are as many resources as possible available for school districts.
Embedded in our testimony is the proposal related to a Resource Center for Mental Health Education in Schools. The Center would provide trainers to schools; phone and web based information; referral services; school consultation; regional summits; webinars; in person professional development and links to the MHA statewide network. CTLE credits would be available.
Here is MHANYS’ Testimony at the Legislative Budget Hearing for Mental Hygiene for your interest.
Action, Action, Action for MHANYS Mental Health Matters Legislative Day on March 14th
Workforce, Mental Health Education, Veterans Mental Health, Housing, Gambling Prevention, Medication Access, Geriatric Mental Health, Eating Disorders, Reinvestment and so much more will be discussed at MHANYS Annual ‘Mental Health Invited speakers include Assembly Mental Hygiene Chair, Aileen Gunther, Senate Mental Hygiene Chair, Robert Ortt, Education Commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan and many more. Join the MHAs, students, veterans, educators and advocates in raising your voice in support of Mental Health. Also, don’t forget our famous tee shirts and rally around the Capitol that day. Register at www.mhanys.org