We thank Senator David Carlucci for sending out this press release
reminding people of the importance of supporting the mental health tax
check off when filling out your New York State tax forms this year.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Justin Devendorf, (315) 491-7564

Time is Running Out for New York Taxpayers to Donate to the Mental Illness
Anti-Stigma Fund

*The Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund is a new tax check-off box that
appears on state income tax forms*

New City, NY – (4/5/15) – With the deadline to file New York State income
taxes quickly approaching, Senator David Carlucci (D–Rockland/Westchester)
announced today that there is still time for New Yorkers that have yet to
file their state income taxes to make a tax-deductible donation designed to
end the stigma of mental illness.

The tax check-off box, seen on income tax forms as The Mental Illness
Anti-Stigma Fund, was signed into law on November
21st, 2015 and was sponsored by Senator Carlucci. Prior to its enactment,
the bill to create the Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund had been pursued
by mental health advocates for years, but now New Yorkers have an easy way
to support essential mental health educational programs and services. This
law is the first of its kind in the nation as it relates to providing
funding to support anti-stigma education. The National Alliance on Mental
Illness (NAMI) recognized Senator Carlucci’s law in their 2015 review of
mental health legislation from across the country,
designating it as New York State’s only mental health law last year to earn
a Gold Star for being innovative and exceptional.

With an estimated one out of five individuals living with
a mental illness and nearly two-thirds of those diagnosed with
a mental illness not seeking treatment, it is crucial that stigmas which
prevent people from seeking treatment are eliminated. All donations
collected from taxpayers will be administered through the New York State
Office of Mental Health, organizations or non-profits will then be able
apply for grant funding that will benefit programs and public service
announcements related to ending the stigma of mental illness.

“As New Yorkers hurry to fill out their taxes before the April 18th
deadline, it’s important they realize how they can help contribute to
ending the stigma of mental illness by making a tax-deductible donation.
The stigma of mental illness prevents those suffering in silence from
getting the treatment that they need, but now we can utilize a permanent
funding source for programs, services and public service announcements that
break down these hurtful stigmas. I am proud to work with dedicated
advocates across the state who helped get this law passed, but now New
York’s taxpayers must join us in our fight,” *said Senator David Carlucci
(D-Rockland/Westchester)*.

“Everyone is either directly or indirectly impacted by mental illness. The
stigma and discrimination of the illness plays a significant role in people
not receiving the help they may desperately need. This landmark legislation
provides a great opportunity to break down the walls of stigma and
discrimination of mental illness by donating to an anti-stigma fund,”
said Glenn Liebman, CEO, Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.

“NAMI-NYS is grateful for the creation of the tax check-off option to fund
the Mental Health Awareness campaign. NAMI-NYS is dedicated to eliminating
all barriers keeping people from treatment and all too often it is the
stigma of mental illness that keeps people from seeking the help they need.
Generating increased awareness is the key to combating stigma. This
initiative will go a long way in creating a more mentally healthy New York
State and we encourage people to use the check-off option,”*said Wendy
Burch, Executive Director of NAMI-NYS.*

For more information please contact Justin Devendorf (315) 491-7564

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*Photo: A list of every current tax check-off box. Since their inception in
1982, tax check-off boxes have raised more than $50 million for several
charities and worthy causes.*

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