OMH has just sent out their County State Aid Letter for the quarterly period January—March 2021. It continues the 20% withholding of contractually obligated funds to non-residential programs. MHA’s and other statewide mental health providers have already done everything they could to minimize the impact of the cuts to those we serve Many counties have also tried to minimize the cuts to programs.
Despite that, the State is continuing down a path that could potentially shred the fundamental precepts of safety, support and recovery for individuals with mental health related issues. The safety net, already inadequate, will be further shrunken by these continued actions. A large population of people in greatest need, swollen because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their loved ones will suffer as critical clinical services, peer support, family engagement, crisis services and more become less available, if available at all. These, of course, are the kinds of services that keep people in the community and out of already COVID overwhelmed emergency rooms
These withholds need to stop IMMEDIATELY. We also need to be hear that behavioral health funding is a top priority for New York, and that stimulus money when available will be immediately deployed to repair the damage that has already be caused.