FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2020
A Statement on the National Election from New York’s Behavioral Health Advocates:
With the national election results clear, it is time for our federal government to deliver for New York. During the COVID-19 emergency period (and to date), Congress has only appropriated (in dedicated funding where mental health and substance use disorder providers are named in bills) just 1% of total funds made available to the nation’s healthcare providers. President-elect Biden committed on the trail to providing appropriate aid to state and local governments, and we look forward to working with his administration and members of the NY Congressional Delegation on this key issue.
In the meantime, Governor Cuomo must take action to support New York’s behavioral health providers. The Governor should immediately provide full funding for mental health and substance use disorder services, and not continue withholds and/or any cuts to these essential services, release the remaining $4 billion in CARES Act funding and consider revenue raisers to ensure adequate funding. Ensuring resources for behavioral health services is more crucial than ever as the pandemic has put more people at risk. Calls to New York’s crisis counseling hotline increased 697% from June 2019 to June 2020. Drug overdose deaths are rising, and the CDC shows over one-third of New Yorkers experienced depression or anxiety from April – July 2020. New Yorkers need the state and federal governments to fund these services now.