Yesterday, I was at the Governor’s event where she launched her new billion dollar mental health initiative. To hear a Governor be so open and heartfelt about mental health services was incredibly moving. She laid out a path of transformation through housing, beds, children’s mental health, parity and more appropriate and timely services. It was done in a logical progression that makes complete sense from MHANYS perspective.
We are in a mental health crisis across the country. Had we been brought in to identify priorities, they might have been different to a degree (re: workforce), but that said, it is hard to argue with both her commitment and her strong language around how services have been ‘divested’ for mental health for far too long. We look at this year as the first of many where mental health will be front and center in policy discussions in New York State and across the country.
I believe that the ultimate test is to answer the question of will people recover and will our loved ones be better served with this proposed budget. I believe the answer is definitely yes (with the support of the workforce as well) and that is the bottom line for supporting this overhaul of our community system.
We have the next two months to talk about bumping up the 2.5% COLA (and we will relentlessly) and supporting the workforce but at this point in time, we thank the Governor for her commitment to our mental health community.
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