MHA members, advocates, school professionals, high school and college students all descended in Albany on March 8th to advocate for changes in New York’s Mental Health Delivery System. Attendees were joined by the NYS Assembly Mental Health Chair, Aileen Gunther, Senate Mental Health Chair, Samra Brouk, Senate Alcoholism and Substance Use Chair, Nathalia Fernandez and OMH Commissioner, Dr. Ann Sullivan.
Our advocacy issues were clearly delineated through advocacy around additional workforce funding from the Governor’s proposed 2.5% COLA to the 8.5% COLA driven by the CPI; legislation that would create a teacher training for mental health; additional funding for Community Programs; Veterans Mental Health; College Mental Health Legislation; Support for School Mental Health Clinics to provide additional funding for Commercial Insurance (same as the existing Medicaid rate) and pipelines for careers in Mental Health including the Qualified Mental Health Associate Title.
While this is the best budget we have seen in many years in regard to mental health, there are long time inequities that need systemic responses. Addressing these issues will got a long way to helping respond to our mental health crisis.
All of us are speaking with the same voice. This was our event on Wednesday. Today hundreds of NYAPRS folks are in Albany also calling for an 8.5% COLA as their top priority.
Listed below are a few of the pictures from our event.
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