Inside New York's $1B+ mental health budget: 11 numbers to know

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined her more than $1 billion, multiyear initiative to overhaul the state's "strained" and "suffering" mental healthcare system.

Ms. Hochul's plan distributes $890 million in direct capital and the equivalent of $120 million in operating costs to services, resources and programs intended to make mental healthcare more accessible, timely and effective, according to a Feb. 2 news release from the governor's office. 

Here is an overview of how the $890 million in capital will be distributed:

  • $890 million will be used to develop and operate 3,500 resident units with intensive mental health services for those with severe mental illness.
    • 500 of these units will be community single occupancy spaces for individuals at the highest-risk.
    • 900 will be step-down units to transition between levels of care.
    • 600 for those with intermediate care needs.
    • 1,500 supportive housing units for individuals with less acute needs backed by community support.
  • $25 million for 60 community units in New York City for individuals left homeless after having been discharged from inpatient care.
  • $60 million to expand outpatient services.
    • Establishing 12 new hospital-level psychiatric emergency centers.
    • Adding 26 community mental health clinics offering immediate care services.
    • Forming 42 mobile crisis services teams.
    • Eight teams that will connect homeless populations with mental health and substance use disorders to care.
    • Increasing capacity at 20 clinics that provide services to high-need individuals.
  • $28 million for 50 care coordination teams that connect discharged patients to resources including housing to employment. 
  • $2.8 million to expand the state's peer-based outreach program.
  • $3.3 million to services that connect adults with mental illness to supported employment.

Ms. Hochul intends to further legislation expanding insurance coverage for high-need, acute and crisis mental health services and introduce legislation requiring insurers to pay for school-based services at rates equal or higher to those of Medicare and to expand telehealth coverage. Additionally, she has proposed a $30 million expansion of school mental health and additional support resources and $22 million to expand home-based care services and suicide prevention programs for high-risk youth and adolescents.

"New York State's mental health care system was strained and suffering from years of underinvestment," Ms. Hochul said in a Feb. 2 press conference. "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 healthcare."

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