In Response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Citywide Mental Health Infrastructure Proposal

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 6, 2015

For More Information Contact:

Dacia Read
dread@childrensdefense.org
(212) 697-2323 x210

New York, NY – On May 5th, 2015, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray outlined initiatives the de Blasio Administration proposes to fund with the $54.4M included in the Mayor’s FY16 Executive Budget to develop NYC’s mental health infrastructure. The FY16 investment, which would grow to $78.3M in FY17, will support the co-location and provision of mental health services with currently existing City services in non-clinical settings, such as shelters, schools and jails.

“The Children’s Defense Fund – New York (CDF-NY) applauds Mayor de Blasio for investing in the mental health and wellness of New York City residents, and paying particular attention to mental health needs of children and young adults,” said Melanie Hartzog, Executive Director of the CDF-NY. “Black children across the U.S. are 70% more likely than white children to not receive needed mental health services. This initiative will address one of the most understated racial health disparities impacting our City.”

“By co-locating mental health services with other City services, the Mayor is effectively leveraging unique opportunities to provide needed services to vulnerable populations, like low-income school children, homeless families, immigrant minors, and criminal justice-involved youth who may not otherwise connect with mental health care providers despite demonstrating an increased likelihood of need for such services,” said Lorraine Gonzalez-Camastra, Health Policy Director at CDF-NY.

Since 1992, CDF-NY has worked to ensure equitable, barrier-free access to quality physical, behavioral and mental health care services for New York’s children. In its recent report,

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