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ALBANY, NY  "Today, after Governor Cuomo highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a serious emotional and mental toll on New Yorkers during his October 21st press conference, the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids Campaign released the following statement:

“COVID-19 has exacerbated an already catastrophic situation for child and adolescent mental health across New York State. Even prior to the pandemic, suicide was the second leading cause of death for children ages 15-19, and the third leading cause of death for children 5-14. Roughly half of children with a mental/behavioral condition who needed treatment or counseling did not receive it in the past year. As a result of the pandemic, children and teens are grappling with unprecedented economic devastation, housing insecurity, social isolation, disrupted schooling, and a grave loss of life in their families and local communities. Consequently, child psychiatrists have seen a significant spike in anxiety and depression among young people and report a growth in young people coming to hospitals with dangerous psychiatric emergencies. Like all other aspects of this pandemic, the mental toll of COVID-19 has fallen disproportionately on working-class immigrant neighborhoods, and among Black and brown communities that have faced historic and institutional inequities. New York State must take an immediate and comprehensive approach to address the mental health needs of children and families before more sick kids become sick adults and an already severe child mental health crisis becomes even more deadly.”

The Campaign also highlighted concerns over recent Medicaid and CHIP data released by CMS which shows a dramatic decline in vaccinations, primary, and preventive services, including a 44% decline in child screenings and outpatient mental health services. This makes clear that too many children in need of care are going without it.


The Campaign urges the State to take action to address the mental health needs of children, including:

  • Enabling recovery by protecting child and family services from harmful cuts and increasing investments in clinical and community-based behavioral health services;

  • Closing the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to telehealth services;

  • Ensuring coverage of Child and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS) in the Child Health Plus program;

  • Protecting and expanding investments in school-based behavioral health services; and

  • Planning and promoting “Pop-up” Assessment Centers at schools, firehouses, food pick-up locations, community centers, and other key sites where children and families congregate to facilitate mental health screenings (including by Child and Family Treatment and Support Service providers)."


City launches mental health initiative to help students during the pandemic

Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech, QNS, 10/24/2020


Pandemic Places Renewed Focus on Mental Health Care

Nick Reisman, Spectrum News, 10/22/2020

Psychiatrists call out pandemic's affect on children of color

Jennifer Henderson and Shuan Sim, Crain’s New York, 10/16/20

Thousands of NY children grapple with the loss of parents to COVID-19

Tim Williams, WCNY, 10/13/2020


Opinion: New York City Schools Need a Trauma-Informed Approach to Student Behavior
Ronald Richter, Gotham Gazette, 10/6/20

Opinion: NYC’s Growing Income Inequality Threatens Pandemic Recovery

Bijan Kimiagar and Jack Mullan, City Limits, 10/6/20

Children's health advocates urge action to address decline in care during crisis

Jennifer Henderson, Crain’s New York, 9/30/20

Reopening NY schools: Children’s mental health needs expected to rise

Utica Observer-Dispatch, 8/31/2020

Health Pulse: Children's home- and community-based services exempted from looming Medicaid cuts

Jennifer Henderson, Crain's New York Business, 8/27/20

Opinion: Telehealth is Helping New York Tackle Our Mental Health Crisis, But It Must Be Funded

David Woodlock, Gotham Gazette, 8/17/2020


State, federal dollars needed as concern grows about children's mental health

Crain's Health Pulse, 8/7/2020


Behavioral Health Aid

Amanda Eisenberg and Shannon Young, Politico NY Health Care, 8/7/2020


Children's Mental Health Services Further Devastated by Pandemic

Jennifer Henderson, Crain's Health Pulse, 6/10/20

Dr. Jennifer Havens: Coronavirus and the Growing Mental Health Crisis

Errol Louis, You Decide Podcast on NY1, 5/27/20

Opinion: A Children's Mental Health Crisis: N.Y. Must Meet This Moment

Dr. Jennifer Havens and Jennifer March, New York Daily News, 5/16/20

Campaign calls on Gov Cuomo to wave copays for essential workers' children's behavioral health

Shannon Young, POLITICO Health Care, 5/8/20

New Coordinated-care Network Seeks to Alleviate Covid-19 Burden

Jennifer Henderson, Crain's Health Pulse, 4/17/20

Campaign's State budget response

Shannon Young, POLITICO Health Care, 3/23/20

Families plan demonstration to support children’s mental health programs*

Johan Sheridan, ABC News10, 3/10/20

Families Gather in Albany Asking Lawmakers to Fund Children's MRT 
Staff, ABC News10, 3/10/20 

Families Together Celebrates 25 Years
Staff, Spectrum News Albany, 3/10/20


Opinion: Help N.Y.’s Suffering Kids: Gov. Cuomo’s Failure on Children’s Mental Health Care*  

Gail Nayowith, New York Daily News, 3/2/20

Advocates, Providers Seek to Address Children's Mental Health Crisis

Jennifer Henderson, Crain's Health Pulse, 2/24/20

Advocates for Children Seek Answers on 1 Percent Medicaid Reduction

Shannon Young, POLITICO, 2/18/20

Children's Health Homes Should Be Excluded From Cuts, Advocates Say 

Jennifer Henderson, Crain's Health Pulse, 2/14/20 

Child Welfare Advocates Rally For Mental Health Funding

Cloey Callahan, The Legislative Gazette, 2/5/20 


Capitol Watch: NY Looks At Mental Health, Higher Ed Budgets

Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press, 2/1/20

Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids: Parents and Lawmakers Rally for Behavioral Health Funding*

Staff, Capital Tonight, 1/28/20

Advocates Launch Campaign To Protect Behavioral Health Funding For Children

By Shannon Young, Politico, 1/28/20

Advocates Want NY To See Children Have More Access To Mental Healthcare

Briana Supardi, CBS6 Albany, 1/28/20

Lawmakers Tackle Youth Mental Health Issues

Staff, CBS6 Albany, 1/28/20

State Lawmakers: Don't Cut Mental Health Services

Nick Reisman, Spectrum News State of Politics, 1/13/20

Opinion: NY Can Do More to Save Kids' Lives

Jeffrey Reynolds, Newsday, 1/13/20

State of the State addresses child welfare, homelessness and health care

Kay Dervishi, NYN Media, 1/9/20


December 30, 2019: Mental Health Funding, Featuring Andrea Smyth
Tim Williams, Capitol Pressroom, 12/30/19

Opinion: With Youth Suicide Rates Rising in New York, Now’s Not the Time to Cut State Funding for Mental Health Treatment

Paige Pierce, Gotham Gazette, 12/23/19


Opinion: Another Voice: State must not reduce youth access to mental health care

Elizabeth McPartland, Buffalo News, 12/17/19  

Report Challenges Cuts to Mental Health Services for Children

Jennifer Henderson, Crain's Health Pulse, 12/17/19   

Advocates: NY rate cuts will harm children's mental health care 

Bethany Bump, Albany Times Union, 12/9/19 


As state prepares DSRIP extension plan, groups make their pitch for funding

Jonathan LaMantia, Crain's New York, 10/28/19

The campaign is a coalition of behavioral health (mental health and substance use) providers, advocates, and New York families, joining together to call on the State to fulfill the promise of PARITY – advancing access to behavioral health care for all children and families.

©2020 by Campaign for Healthy Minds Healthy Kids.