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Direct support for kids’ mental health needed in NYS budget

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Advocates for children facing mental health challenges are calling on New York state lawmakers and Governor Kathy Hochul to allocate nearly $900 million in proposed funding to improve access to care for young people. This appeal comes amid ongoing state budget negotiations and as the Hochul administration hosts forums across the state this spring to address child mental health issues.

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The Campaign for Healthy Minds, Healthy Families has highlighted the $890 million in the budget proposal intended for capital investment in mental health services, urging that a portion of these funds be specifically earmarked for children and families. The group is advocating for at least 50% of this funding to be dedicated to children’s mental health needs.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Governor Hochul’s current budget proposal includes $37 million for programs such as home-based crisis intervention, school-based mental health clinics, and suicide prevention initiatives for at-risk youth. However, the Campaign for Healthy Minds, Healthy Families argues that these investments are insufficient, given the urgent mental health needs of children who face long waiting lists for services, frequent emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and, in extreme cases, loss of life.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruptions to schools and other in-person activities have heightened concerns about mental health care, particularly for younger individuals.

Categories: New York StateNews