Despite inclement weather, many people showed up yesterday in support of
MHANYS ‘Mental Health Matters Day’. We thank our many speakers including
Senators Ortt, Hamilton and Parker, Assembly members Gunther and McDonald,
Mental Health Commissioner Sullivan, Assistant Secretary to the Governor
for Mental Hygiene, Shelly Weisman and our colleagues including Harvey
Rosenthal from NYAPRS, Toni Lasicki from ACL, Matthew Shapiro from NAMI,
Lisa Furst from the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance, Cindy Gallagher from
the School Administrators Association of NYS, Marcelle Leis, CMSgt
(retired), Program Director for the Joseph Dwyer Veterans Peer Support
Project in Suffolk County, Scott Paltrowitz from the HALT campaign and all
our other guests.

After the presentations, we held an impromptu rally on the third floor of
the Capitol, urging legislators to support funding for mental health
education in schools. A few pictures from the event are attached. We thank
all of our rally participants. From comments we heard through our meetings
in the afternoon, it was clear that we were heard by legislators.

It was especially germane to have the meeting right after the Assembly and
Senate both introduced their one house bills. This gave advocates an
opportunity to discuss the priority areas of MHANYS in the budget including
Workforce funding increases, funding for a Mental Health Education and
Training Resource Center and increases in funding for existing Mental
Health Housing. All of the MHA’s and our colleagues in the community will
continue their tireless advocacy over the next few weeks before budget is
passed to make sure these priority areas are part of the final budget.

Stay tuned for more details.


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