By Asmita Saha
On January 10, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive $1 billion plan to utilize and change New York State’s mental health system. The plan emphasizes school-based mental health services for both children and teens.
“New Yorkers who struggle with mental illness deserve a system of care that is suited for and responsive to their needs,” Governor Hocul said.
The plan to fund youth mental health services was sparked by the increase in teen depression and anxiety. According to a recent CDC report, more than a third of high school students reported poor mental health and persistent feelings of hopelessness.
Hochul had announced the plan during her State Address, making it a key point of her agenda for the remainder of her term. To provide mental health services to the youth, the governor plans to fund mental health professionals across the state.
Source by Guneet Hanjra
"Mental health is extremely important to students, but it's not really an issue that I think is taken seriously by students. I hope that this program opens up gateways for people to utilize the resources that become increasingly accessible," senior Sahara John said.
Some students at NHP hold passionate feelings about these changes.
“Hochul should be using this bill as a keystone of her governacy; it's an important bill which can help youth in need. She should be doing a lot of press conferences and such on this as it's a popular bill and hard to criticize. She needs some credibility after her massively unpopular housing proposal and her relatively narrow win to Zeldin last November,” sophomore Daniel Zekthi said.
Alongside psychiatric care in hospitals and schools, the governor also proposed 3,500 units of housing for people with mental illnesses who are at risk of becoming homeless.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction as mental health is being taken more seriously. It’s surprising that the government is actually beginning to spend more money on mental health because a decade ago that would have been unthinkable,” sophomore Joseph James said.
The plan, which was passed in March, provides $10 million in state funding immediately available for New York State youth and families.