$2.5 million in funding for the School Mental Health Resource Center

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Mon 14 March 2022 15:25

Governor Kathy Hochul 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 in the past two years,” 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, guardians or teachers of any concerns they may have.”

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “New York State is a national leader in providing mental health education and services to children and youth. 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.”

The Hochul team said, “School mental health education offers the potential 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 Schools in Mental Health Resources and Training will assist all public and private schools in New York State with providing the required mental health instruction and will assist schools in informing content and the incorporation of mental health into the health programme.

More information on the RFP is available here on the OMH website.

Hochul’s recently released executive budget invests in children’s mental health services, including:

√ Recover from 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 Plus Insurance: The executive budget includes $11 million in fiscal year 2023 (growing to $44 million in fiscal year 2024) to improve access to child behavioral health services by aligning Child Health Plus benefits about Medicaid benefits, including mental health and addiction services, at home and in the community. evidence-based services, evidence-based treatment for people diagnosed with serious mental illness, and residential rehabilitation for youth.

√ Network of Trauma-Informed Care: 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): 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, doubling the volume current. 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 public funds, $15 million with matching federal funds).

Board Chancellor Lester W. Young Jr. said, “The challenges facing young people today are unprecedented and uniquely 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 for students, educators, and families was a board and department priority even before the pandemic. This center for mental health resources and technical assistance 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 whole-school, whole-child, of 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.

New York 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 are died by suicide in 2020 alone. The announcement of $2.5 million for the creation of a Technical Assistance Center for mental health resources and training for schools is a step in the right direction. our mental health workforce to increase capacity and cultural competency, and crisis response services like the new 9-8-8 mental health and addictions crisis lifeline.

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