Behavioral Health Advocates from across New York State are continuing to come together with one voice around the devastation that would occur to our mental health and addictions community if we do not receive federal support to help supplant New York’s budget deficit as a direct result of COVID-19

We have banded together to criticize the Senate proposal that remarkably includes no new funding for States and counties. While we appreciate that the Senate bill includes several provisions for inclusion of more funding for behavioral health services, it is not enough

Without funding for the States, providers already working on the margins, will be forced into incredibly difficult decision and ultimately those who will suffer most will be individuals and their families with mental health and addiction disorders.  We understand that this is a negotiation but the lives of those we love should not be pawns in this political process. We urge the House and Senate to come together and robustly fund behavioral health services and additional funding for State and local governments. Real lives depend on these decisions.

Watch our colleague Andrea Smyth on Capitol Tonight discussing the impact of such a policy to Children’s Behavioral Health Services.

 

Contacts:
Sebrina Barrett: Association for Community Living (ACL) (573) 645-9816
Amy Dorin: Coalition for Behavioral Health (917) 545-0602
Glenn Liebman: Mental Health Association in NYS (MHANYS) (518) 360-7916
Harvey Rosenthal: NY Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS)  (518) 527-0564

Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Advocates Decry Senate’s Failure
to Fund States and Localities and Address Health, Hunger and Housing Crises

Albany, NY – Advocates for New Yorkers with significant mental health and addictions services needs condemned Senate Republicans’ newly released COVID Relief Proposal for its failure to address the needs of vulnerable adults, families and children and the support from states and localities they rely on across our nation.

Thousands of New Yorkers with major mental illnesses are at risk of losing their homes, which are essential to make recovery possible and to provide the means to connect them to vital community-based mental health and substance use services. Millions of children are missing their routines, activities and education.  Taken nationally, countless Americans are facing foreclosures, bankruptcies, broken families, serious depression and ever rising rates of suicide and fatal drug overdose—all while the COVID virus continues to spread.

Yet, Senate leaders proposed a relief package yesterday that falls far short and fails to address the urgent call of Americans in need and to help heal our nation. Instead of prioritizing funding for Medicaid and assistance to hard-pressed states, the Republican proposal slashes unemployment benefits and funds a new $1.7 billion headquarters for the FBI

The Senate’s proposal fails to address growing hunger and housing insecurity, unemployment and loss of healthcare coverage, especially for hard hit African American, Latinx and immigrant households. Moreover, it fails to replenish funding for the essential services and supports that state and local governments provide, all while the federal government watches the pandemic spread and heaps harm on ever rising numbers of Americans in crisis.

Senate Republicans must immediately enter into meaningful negotiations with the House to produce legislation that averts a catastrophic economic and health crisis.

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