MHANYS is very excited for our upcoming annual Mental Health Matters day taking place on March 13th. Over two hundred and fifty students from across New York State are coming to highlight concerns regarding issues of mental health in schools and advocating for the continued support of the School Mental Health Resource and Training Center. In addition, MHA members and our colleagues will be out in force advocating for issues of a COLA for the Human Service Workforce, Mental Health Housing, Veterans Issues, Geriatric Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Eating Disorders, Medication Access and several other issues.
We are pleased to include presentations from Assembly Mental Hygiene Chair, Aileen Gunther, Senate Mental Hygiene Chair David Carlucci, Senate Education Chair, Shelly Mayer, Assembly Education Chair, Mike Benedetto, OMH Commissioner, Ann Sullivan, SED Associate Commissioner, Renee Rider, several students and other mental health experts.
MEDIA ADVISORY | Event: March 13, 2019
Contact: John Mackowiak, 518.618.1175 (o), 716.785.5475 (m)
Mental Health Matters Day: Over 450 Students, Advocates to Rally at State Capitol for Mental Health Needs of New Yorkers
Annual mental health advocacy day comes on the heels of new Pew research showing 70 percent of teens feel anxiety and depression are major problems among their peers
Funding for School Mental Health Resource & Training Center among top priorities for Mental Health Matters Day
ALBANY, N.Y. — About 300 students and 150 mental health professionals and advocates from across New York State are expected in Albany Wednesday, March 13 for Mental Health Matters Day. Together, they will urge state lawmakers to take action to support the mental health needs of New Yorkers. Mental Health Matters Day is an annual event organized by the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS).
At the State Capitol, Mental Health Matters Day participants will focus their advocacy around three key issue areas: mental health literacy and education, workforce needs and housing. Students and advocates will share their experiences with lawmakers to help them understand the importance of ongoing investment to support mental wellness in communities across the state.
Mental Health Matters Day follows new data from the Pew Research Center that found 70 percent of teens see anxiety and depression as major problems among their peers. This year, New York State became the first state in the nation to require mental health education in all K-12 schools, and further action remains urgently needed.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 13
· 9:00-10:00 a.m. – MHANYS Legislative Briefing on key issues and advocacy tips
· 10:00-11:00 a.m. – MHANYS Legislative Briefing focused on mental health literacy and education with remarks from students, lawmakers, advocates
· 12:00 p.m. – Rally at the State Capitol
WHERE: New York State Capitol, Albany
· MHANYS Legislative Briefing in Empire State Plaza meeting rooms 5 and 6 (9-11 a.m.)
· Rally planned for West Capitol Park, outside the State Capitol (12 p.m.)
WHO: Interviews will be available with:
· MHANYS CEO Glenn Liebman
· Students from across the state
· Mental health advocates from across the state.
NOTE: Advance interviews are available with advocates ahead of Mental Health Matters Day.
This is the first Mental Health Matters Day since New York’s first-in-nation law requiring mental health education in K-12 schools went into effect. To help schools implement the law, MHANYS launched the School Mental Health Resource & Training Center to provide educators and school districts with assistance and guidance as they develop new curriculum and create programs to support student mental health. It has already made a substantial impact statewide.
With the Resource Center’s support, the new law has inspired a wave of activity in schools across the state. As one of its key budget priorities, MHANYS is now pushing for a renewed $1 million state funding commitment for the Resource Center to keep it fully operational in the year ahead.
MHANYS will also draw attention to workforce and housing needs during this year’s Mental Health Matters Day. Specifically, it will call for state action to address the historic wage disparity that has significantly hurt community-based mental health agencies’ ability to recruit and retain employees. The organization will also push for funding to improve access to housing for people with mental illness and those in recovery. Both issues jeopardize the mental health of communities statewide.