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Mental Health Update

February 2, 2023
Mental Health Update

Mental Health Budget Breakdown

It is unprecedented to have this kind of mental health service expansion that Governor Hochul has added in the State Budget. For those of us that have been doing this for a long time, we’ve had many years where mental health has been an asterisk in the budget. This is a huge recognition of the importance of the mental health and Governor Hochul and Commissioner Sullivan should be lauded for their vision.  We strongly support many of the initiatives in the budget around housing,  expansion of services, mental health parity,  school based services and public hospital beds.   There are so many of MHANYS priorities that have been addressed in the budget.

However, the proposed COLA of 2.5% will greatly impact the ability to do all the heavy lifting from the workforce that has to be done to make this vision a reality.  With a sector that has a turnover rate of over 30%, a huge vacancy rate and administrative costs that are manifest through increasing costs of operating programs, a 2.5% increase is woefully short for the individuals that show up and that we depend on every day.

Governor Hochul should be supported for her vision of mental health and a COLA increase of 2.5% but to insure long term sustainability, services and recovery for our loved ones, we need to make this COLA whole at 8.5%. We will be working with our Legislative champions throughout the rest of budget season to add to the COLA. We also appreciate the Governor’s candor in recognizing that our mental health system has faced divestment for many years.  This has left too many of our loved ones in crisis.  This budget will hopefully mark the start of a real change of how mental health is funded in New York State.

The breakdown of funding for the new initiatives are listed below:


2.5% COLA across the Human Service Workforce including mental health

$14 million for recruitment and retention of psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioners and other licensed clinicians in mental health programs licensed by the NYS Office of Mental Health

Qualified Mental Health Associate Title

 This is one of those most exciting movements in the budget in regard to careers in the mental health field.  For many years, there has been a CASAC model for Substance Use. It is the creation of a degree in counseling in substance use that is a combination of school and in person work experience. Importantly, this has helped create career ladders for many individuals.  We have long advocated for a similar model in mental health. We strongly support this initiative in helping create the ability for paraprofessional in the field to be able to utilize school and hands on experience to help support individuals and they move towards their recovery

Housing—3500 Units

500 Community  Residences/Single Room Occcpancy Beds—Housing and Intensive Services

900 Transitional Step down beds (from various levels of care to community based)

600 Licensed Apartment Units (intermediate level of need)

1500 Supportive Housing Units (less intense needs)

 750 of which will be rental units and 750 of which will be new construction beds

In addition, the Governor has kept her commitment of $39 million for existing residential programs

Outpatient Services

12 new Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Programs (CPEPS)  CPEPS are hospital based services that include emergency observation, evaluation, care and treatment

42 New ACT Teams (22 in New York City and 20 in the rest of the State)

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (goes from 13 to 39)

Safe Option Support Teams (SOS)—5 new teams in NYC and 3 around the rest of the State

Expansion of Article 31 Clinics

Health Home Plus Care Managers—42 New Managers

Hospital Beds—1000 Beds

850 Article 28 beds (Public Hospital Beds)—Increasing the Office of Mental Health Enforcement  of these beds to insure they come on line for psychiatric admission

150 New Beds in State Psychiatric Hospitals (MHANYS opposes expansion back into State Psychiatric Hospitals)

Improved Admission and Discharge Planning

50 New Critical Time Intervention Teams (Wrap around services from discharged practices for housing and job support)

Development of comprehensive standards for discharges from hospitals

Mental Health Parity

Provide language to strengthen mental health parity including assurances that insurance companies will not deny access to medically necessary services.

Inclusion of telehealth parity for behavioral health


Mental Health Services for School Aged Children:

Commercial Insurance for School Based Mental Health Services to be equivalent to Medicaid

Increased rates for Article 31 School Clinics

Increased Medicaid rates for school based wrap around services.

$10 Million for School Based Mental Health Clinics

$500,000 Added in the Budget to continue the work of MHANYS School Mental Health Resource and Training Center


Expansion of 988

$60 million commitment to Expansion of Year 2 of 988


INSET Program

$2.8 million for INSET which is a successful peer run, outreach and engagement model established by NYAPRS and run through the MHA in Westchester County


Eating Disorders

$3.1 Million for Eating disorder programs


Healthy Step Program

$12 million—Funding that links pediatric primary care providers with young children and their families in need of mental health services


Suicide Prevention:

$10 million including a focus on high risk youth and supporting farmers and their families


Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

$3.3 Million. This is a best practice supported employment model

Glenn Liebman

(518) 434-0439 |

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