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Mental Health Update

April 10, 2020
Mental Health Update

MH Update – 4/10/20 – Message from OMH Commissioner Ann Sullivan

Powerful words  and recognition of the incredible community mental health workforce from OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan

To all our community healthcare partners,

The work you do every day as community mental healthcare providers makes life better for some of the most vulnerable residents in our State. It is public service in the truest sense of the word, and I thank for you for doing it, especially now, in these most difficult times.  In his daily briefings on the coronavirus, Governor Cuomo has often expressed his admiration and gratitude for the work being done by our partners in communities around the State, and I certainly share those feelings.

The coronavirus has tested us like a few other catastrophes. we have endured hurricanes, blizzards, floods, and the tragedy of 9-11. We met those challenges and we will meet this one as well. The commitment you and your staff demonstrate each day in the face of this crisis is not just commendable, but heroic.

I know many of you have clients and staff that have fallen ill to the virus. Some of you have already lost colleagues, staff members and clients, as well as friends and family members.  I cannot adequately express my condolences for these heartbreaking losses.

Community mental healthcare providers are truly on the front lines of this emergency, and the work you do is helping to ensure the health and safety of others. That is the very definition of heroism. I wanted to take a moment to express my deep and sincere gratitude for the work you are doing. I also want you to know that all of us at OMH will do everything possible to support you. Together, we will come through this crisis.

And if you, your colleagues or your loved ones are feeling overwhelmed by the COVID-19 epidemic, please keep in mind that the NYS Emotional Support Helpline is staffed by specially trained volunteers who can help. Call 1-844-863-9314.

Please stay safe,


Dr. Ann Sullivan
NYS Office of Mental Health