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The pandemic has added more strain to an already struggling mental health workforce in New York State

The pandemic put more focus on mental health needs, and now mental health workers in the state are having a hard time meeting demand with lack of staff and little funding.

Now people are coming out of the pandemic in need of care and workers are being asked to do even more.

Sebrina Barrett, Association for Community Living Executive Director, stated that mental health needs have increased while their work force to meet those needs have shrunk.

Housing, to vacant staffing, to the new 988 suicide prevention hotline that will be available soon, a lot of strain is being put on providers.

One issue is the funding for wages in the field; it has not kept up with a rising minimum wage.

Barrett says there needs to be investing happening in the workforce in order to fill the jobs, and that the minimum wage being earned is for a job that is not a minimum wage job.

988 will be an alternative for calling 911 is a suicide crisis situation.