Governor Kathy Hochul says the state will allocate $10 million in funding to create two statewide networks to support youth and families struggling with behavioral health issues. Administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the funding will establish two separate networks, one for youth and the other for families.
Governor Hochul stated that New Yorkers with mental illness deserve a system of care that is suited to their needs and that the statewide networks will provide young people, parents, caregivers, and peer advocates with the resources, expertise, and support they need to address behavioral health concerns. The networks will be funded with $5 million each over five years and will foster networking, advancement support, and the workforce pipeline of peer advocates.
The Statewide Network for Youth Peer Support and Advocacy will empower young people towards personal recovery and resiliency in their treatment. It will connect young people and youth peer advocates, engaging them in activities that will inform state-level policies and the development of programs, and support the integration of youth-guided practices into organizations and services.
The Statewide Structure and Network for Family Support and Advocacy will provide resources and information to family peers, advocates, and the parents and caregivers of children with mental health needs. This network will help connect families to education, training, and resources and establish connections to others facing similar challenges.
The networks will advise healthcare providers, local governments, and the New York State Office of Mental Health on policies and programs by providing input from the youth and families they serve. Both networks will also help to grow and advance the work of youth peer advocates and family peer advocates.
The two networks will complement Governor Hochul’s comprehensive $1 billion multi-year plan to overhaul the continuum of mental health care and reduce the number of individuals with unmet mental health needs throughout the state. The plan aims to expand access to mental health care, reduce wait times, and ensure appropriate levels of care to correct a mental health care system that has suffered from chronic underinvestment. The plan is a key component of the Governor’s FY 2024 Budget proposal.
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