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Mental Health Update

Posted in:
February 15, 2023
Mental Health Update

Behavioral Health Advocates to Rally for Increase in COLA


Behavioral Health Advocates to Rally for Increase in COLA

Various State Advocates to Ask for 8.5% increase in Cost-of -Living Adjustment

(New York, N.Y.) – Twelve advocacy groups across New York State will be hosting a rally and press conference on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the Legislative Office Building, Room 130, to call on legislators and the Governor to include an 8.5% increase in the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in the 2023-2024 State Fiscal Year’s budget.

While pleased with Governor Hochul’s overall support of behavioral health, the budget proposal included a 2.5% COLA increase, a decrease from last fiscal year, and advocates say this isn’t enough. The COLA is not just about staff salaries. It must also address ever increasing costs associated with operating programs and services, such as gas, food, utilities, insurance, etc. Like all households and businesses across the state and the country, advocates are continuing to do more with less, as current economic conditions have inflated the real costs associated with retaining staff and paying bills.


  • Glenn Liebman, CEO, Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS)
  • Cohen Miles-Rath, Production Manager, MHANYS
  • William Gettman, Jr., MHANYS Board Chair and CEO, Northern Rivers
  • Mary Sydnor, Director, Residential Treatment Facility, Northern Rivers
  • Sebrina Barrett, Executive Director, Association for Community Living
  • Jennifer Doret, Regional Director for Residential Services, RSS
  • Harvey Rosenthal, CEO, NYS Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
  • Peer Representative from NYS Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
  • Kim Kaiser, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Families Together in New York State
  • Tiara Springer-Love, Director, Youth Power
  • Sharon Horton, Executive Director, NAMI
  • Kyle Plaske, Director of Public Policy, New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, Inc.
  • Young Do, Executive Director, Hospitality House

WHAT: Rally & Press conference to call for 8.5% COLA increase

WHERE: Legislative Office Building (LOB), Room 130

WHEN: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

The twelve agencies represented at the rally are: Association for Community LivingCoalition of Medication-Assisted Treatment Providers and Advocates of New York State (COMPA), Families Together in New York StateMental Health Association in New York StateNational Alliance on Mental Illness New York State (NAMI), New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, Inc. (ASAP), New York State Care Management CoalitionNew York State Coalition for Children’s Behavioral HealthNYS Council for Community Behavioral Health CareNew York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation ServicesThe Supportive Housing Network of New York, and The Coalition for Behavioral Health.