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More details provided on Hochul's mental health care in the new budget

The $1 billion would be used to overhaul the state's mental health care.

NEW YORK — A day after announcing the fiscal year 2024 state budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the details of a $1 billion mental health care overhaul. The goal is to reduce the number of people who have unmet mental health needs in New York State.

"New York State's mental health care system was strained and suffering from years of underinvestment even before the global pandemic exacerbated the problem and made things worse," Hochul said. 

"New Yorkers who struggle with mental illness deserve a system that is suited for and responsive to their needs. From creating transitional and supportive housing to expanding our comprehensive network of outpatient services, this bold plan is aimed at providing the funding and resources needed to ensure everyone in our state can access high-quality mental health care."

Part of the funding will be used to establish residential units for people who need assistance because of their mental health. Capital and operating funding will also be provided to expand outpatient services.

The plan will also require hospitals to "responsibly admit and discharge patients." This would be accomplished through state-level oversight and a comprehensive standards for evaluation.

Around $2.8 million will be invested in expanding the Intensive and Sustained Engagement Treatment program that offers peer-based outreach for adults with serious mental illness.

Legislation has been introduced that would aim to close gaps in insurance coverage from denying medically necessary mental health services.

"Governor Hochul's Executive Budget includes proposals and resources that will expand, strengthen, and revitalize the state's behavioral healthcare system in ways that were not possible in previous years," New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said.

"It provides us with new policies and programs that will increase access to housing and to outpatient and inpatient services and gives us the tools we need to expand school-based mental health clinics, reduce racial inequities in healthcare and close gaps in insurance coverage for mental health services. I applaud Governor Hochul for her historic commitment to strengthening the continuum of mental healthcare for all New Yorkers." 

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