Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the availability of $2.5 million over five years to create and support a Technical Assistance Center for mental health resources and training for schools. The center will support all public and private schools in New York State and help them deliver mental health education as part of K-12 health programs.
“The pandemic has made life difficult for all New Yorkers, including young people who have been through so much over the past two years,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding will help ensure New York schools are able to teach our children about mental health with an age-appropriate curriculum that will reduce fear and stigma and encourage children to talk to their parents, caregivers or teachers of any concerns they may have.”
OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said: “New York is a national leader in mental health education and services for children and youth. OMH has actually licensed over 1,000 school mental health clinics across New York State, which has increased access to mental health services for children and families. But we also need to teach our children that mental health is as important as physical health, and that they shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help when needed. The resource center will help our schools teach this valuable lesson to all children and their families.
School-based mental health education offers the opportunity to positively impact children’s overall health by improving their understanding of mental health. This holistic approach has the ability to reduce stigma and normalize mental health and wellness activities and may also promote help-seeking behaviors.
The Technical Assistance Center for Mental Health Resources and Training Schools will help all public and private schools in New York State provide the required mental health education and help schools by informing content and the incorporation of mental health into the health programme.
More information on the RFP is available here on the OMH website
The Governor’s announcement is the latest initiative to ensure young people in New York City receive the mental health services they may need. Its recently released executive budget invests heavily in children’s mental health services, including:
Recover from the COVID School Program (RECOVS): An investment of $100 million over two years will create a new state matching fund that will prioritize and help school districts with the highest needs. The funding will support the hiring of mental health professionals and the expansion of school mental health services. It will also fund the expansion of summer, after-school, extended day and extended year learning programs to help students catch up in school.
Healthy steps: The Executive Budget would increase funding by $10 million. HealthySteps helps pediatricians focus on a child’s physical health to include social-emotional and behavioral health and to help support family relationships. Healthy Steps is facilitated by a mental health professional specializing in child and family development who works with families and their pediatricians to provide mental health and trauma care in the primary care setting.
Child Health Insurance Plus: The executive budget includes $11 million for fiscal year 2023 (increasing to $44 million for fiscal year 2024) to improve access to child behavioral health services by aligning Child Health Plus benefits with Medicaid, including mental health and addictions, home and community services. services, evidence-based treatment for those diagnosed with serious mental illness, and residential rehabilitation for youth.
Trauma-Informed Care Network: The Governor’s budget includes $10 million to expand the network and provide specialized treatment that addresses experiences that can traumatize children, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Child and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS): The Executive Budget increases funding for this program by $8 million. CFTSS provides a range of services, including youth and family peer support and psychosocial rehabilitation, and can work with children and young people before they have a diagnosis, providing individualized supports and community for prevention and treatment.
Home Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI): Governor Hochul proposed increased funding ($7.5 million in 2022-23; $10 million annually) to develop new HBCI teams and expand current workloads to serve 2,640 families each year, thus doubling the current volume. HBCI provides short-term, intensive in-home crisis intervention services to a family in crisis as an alternative to admitting their child to a psychiatric hospital.
Residential treatment facilities: These facilities serve our most vulnerable and needy children. The Governor’s Budget would significantly increase funding ($7.5 million in state funds, $15 million with matching federal funds).
Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said: “The challenges facing young people today are unprecedented and particularly difficult to overcome, and the effect on their mental health is devastating. Helping our schools provide mental health education, professional mental health support, and social-emotional learning to students, educators, and families was a board and department priority even before the pandemic. This mental health resource and technical assistance center will help reduce disparities in access to mental health treatment in our schools and communities.
State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said: “We need to think about mental health services in a holistic way that supports a transformative approach for the whole school, the whole child, the whole community. Integrating resources and learning into all facets of a school helps provide culturally competent care and supports for stress, trauma and anxiety faced by students and educators. I am grateful to the Governor for this funding and we will continue to work closely with Commissioner Sullivan and her staff.
State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said: “Raising mental health awareness through education de-stigmatizes conversations and makes it easier for students to get the support they need. Thank you to Governor Kathy Hochul for making these funds available to improve the mental health program in our schools. The pandemic has been particularly difficult for our students – we must do all we can to support them. »
State Senator Samra Brouk said: “The social and emotional stress associated with the pandemic has been severely disruptive to our young people, and the National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 6,600 adolescents and young adults died by suicide in 2020 alone. Today’s announcement Today’s $2.5 million for the creation of a Mental Health Resource and Training Technical Assistance Center for Schools is a step in the right direction. Let’s continue to invest in critically needed mental health resources for young people, including investments in telemental health services, growing our mental health workforce to build capacity and cultural competence, and crisis intervention services like the new 9-8-8 mental health service and addictions crisis lifeline.
MP Aileen Gunther said: “Mental health care is essential for all of our communities and during my time at the Assembly I have witnessed the struggle to provide adequate care. I congratulate Governor Kathy Hochul on announcing $2.5 million for the establishment of a Mental Health Resource and Training Center. We know the pandemic has greatly affected the mental health of children and access to mental health services in schools is vital. As a nurse and an MP, I have always fought for what was best for my constituents. I look forward to the positive effects this funding will have on the children of New York State. »