Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS) is an agency of support, education and advocacy for mental health issues, and has been for over fifty years. As part of its mission, MHANYS advocates for change in the mental health system ensuring access for all New Yorkers, fights stigma through community-based partnership programming, and provides information on mental health issues and services.
MHANYS has led advocacy efforts in NYS resulting in such laws as the Mental Health Awareness Tax Checkoff, which raises funds to end discrimination against mental illness, and Timothy’s Law, which mandates mental health parity. These laws are part of a long, full, and varied history of advocacy, organizing, and grassroots efforts that improved the lives of all New Yorkers.
MHANYS also creates and maintains projects that, in the past and present, share the common theme of educating the public about mental illness and reducing the stigma of the illness. Such projects include the Community Business Outreach Program, the Project Aware – Community Grant for the Capital Region, Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP), MHANYS Engagement Services, Justice-Involved Initiatives, Parents with Psychiatric Disabilities Initiatives, Jail Diversion Initiative, The Empowerment Project, Families Together, Parent Support Network, the Community Mental Health Promotion Project, Mental Health First Aid, Self Help Clearinghouse, the Mental Health Information Center, Building Connections: Sexual Assault and Mental Health Project, and LegUP Workplace Solutions. Several of these projects, including The Empowerment Project and Families Together, have spun off into successful freestanding organizations.