Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the allocation of over $13 million in state funding to increase the availability of Home-Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI) teams across the state. This initiative aims to provide crucial mental health services to at-risk children and youth, helping them avoid psychiatric hospitalization in less familiar and often distressing environments.
The Office of Mental Health (OMH) will administer the funding, which will be used to create 13 new HBCI teams and expand 26 existing ones. Governor Hochul emphasized the importance of providing mental health care to young individuals in familiar surroundings, stating that the expansion will allow more families to receive care at home and help reduce the need for hospitalization.
The OMH will provide $6.2 million to create 11 new teams that will serve children and youth aged between 5 and 21 who are at imminent risk of psychiatric hospitalization. The agency has also partnered with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) to establish two teams exclusively for children or youth with dual diagnoses of developmental disability and mental illness.
A further $7.3 million will be allocated to expand existing HBCI teams serving children in crisis. Currently, 26 teams statewide assist approximately 2,600 children.
OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan highlighted the importance of home-based crisis intervention in the recovery process, stating that HBCI teams are highly effective and that the expansion will enable them to serve many more young people and families.
OPWDD Commissioner Kerri E. Neifeld and DDPC Executive Director Vicky Hiffa also expressed their support for the expansion, emphasizing the importance of access to crisis services and timely care for children and youth with developmental disabilities.
Governor Hochul’s FY 2024 Executive Budget proposes significant increases for children’s mental health, including additional funding for HBCI teams, expanded mental health services in schools, school-based wraparound services, and grants for suicide prevention programs targeting high-risk youth. These investments aim to improve mental health support for children and youth throughout New York State.
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