Categories: New York City
The Network applauds Speaker Adrienne Adams, Mental Health Committee Chair Linda Lee, Majority Leader Keith Powers, and the entire City Council for putting forward a holistic Mental Health Roadmap that calls for targeted investments in the historically underfunded mental health infrastructure and addresses the workforce crisis.
This plan could not come at a more critical time. Fueled by years of neglect and historic underfunding across the mental health continuum and compounded by a global pandemic, New York’s mental health and substance use challenges have reached crisis levels.
We thank the Speaker and City Council for recognizing that none of the residential and community-based mental health proposals at the City and State levels can be possible unless significant investments are made in the mental health workforce.
Low and non-competitive wages, insufficient reimbursement of services, unreasonable staffing models and supervision options, and lack of meaningful support for staff who encounter trauma all contribute to an acute labor crisis. Educational and training programs fail to recruit and retain talent to work in the field and bureaucracies prevent ease of practice for clinicians.
The Roadmap includes what other plans lack- material solutions for addressing the shrinking workforce whose members deserve to be fully and fairly compensated for their critical work.
The Network also commends the Council’s plan to advocate for increased funding for Justice-Involved Supportive Housing and the reallocation of unawarded NYC 15/15 scatter-site units to congregate units in the FY ‘24 budget.
We look forward to partnering with the Council to build upon this plan, with the goal of implementing a thoughtful and responsive framework to advance mental health and safety in New York City.