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Mental Health Update

April 24, 2023
Mental Health Update

8.5 (Actually 9) Reasons to Support the 8.5% COLA: Send out letters today

As the budget negotiations keep moving forward, there has not been a  lot of public mention of the COLA.  We have to keep that drumbeat moving forward.  Here is the list of 8.5 reasons (actually 9) to support the COLA.  We have also attached the link to send letters to legislators.  Please keep the pressure on.

1)     Workforce

It’s about the underpaid workforce and our ability to retain and recruit quality staff

2)     Cost of Doing Business

Not for profits continue to do mission driven work while there is increasing financial pressure including insurance, gas and oil increases

3)     Impact of Lack of COLAs

Despite this law being in statute for over 17 years, only in a few of those years was the COLA fully funded.  It is estimated that there has been a 40% funding cut because of the lack of COLAs

4)     Safety Net

Not for profit agencies have been the ultimate safety net for people with complex needs

5)     Saves the Taxpayers Money

Not for profits keep people out of more costly settings like emergency rooms and the criminal justice system

6)     Income Disparity

The not for profit sector is comprised of over 80% women and 50% of people of color.  Over half the workforce qualifies for some kind of public assistance

7)     Outcomes

Fully funding these programs would provide support for all not for profits and lead to less waiting lists, more housing options and less deaths of despair from suicide completion and overdose deaths

8)     Staff Retention

While many of the mental health and not for profit staff are mission driven, mission driven does not put food on the table.  It is difficult to retain staff when they can work for an industry that pays more and provides less stress

8.5) New York’s Mental Health Budget

Governor Hochul has provided a great vision for the future of our mental health system but quality staff is needed to fulfill that vision.

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Take Action Now

Support Mental Health Workforce Funding and Community Support

“We need an 8.5% Cost of Living Adjustment for the Mental Health Workforce”

So far, the Senate and House have included the 8.5% COLA for mental health workforce funding. Thank you for helping to make this happen. Let’s make our voices heard again!

Click ACT NOW to send an email to your representative in support.


Visit our Legislative Action Community to learn about our advocacy.