Teams Aimed at Helping Vulnerable Children and Youth Remain with Their Families During Mental Health Treatment; Aid in the Recovery Process
Funding Will Establish the First Teams Dedicated to Serving Children with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the availability of more than $13 million in state funding to expand access to Home-Based Crisis Intervention teams throughout New York State. Administered by the state Office of Mental Health, this funding will help create 13 new teams and expand 26 existing ones, enabling them to provide critical mental health services so that at-risk children and youth can avoid psychiatric hospitalization.
"Hospital settings can be distressing for anyone, much less a child or young person contending with a mental health issue," Governor Hochul said. "Home-Based Crisis Intervention teams provide vital mental health care to these individuals in surroundings familiar to them so that they can avoid the emotional trauma often associated with hospitals. Expanding these teams statewide will allow more families to receive this care at home and help reduce the need for hospitalization."
The Office of Mental Health will provide $6.2 million to create 11 new teams to serve children and youth between the ages of 5 and 21, who are at imminent risk of psychiatric hospitalization. The agency also partnered with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council in an effort to establish two teams that will exclusively serve children or youth dually diagnosed with both a developmental disability and mental illness.
OMH is also providing $7.3 million to expand existing teams serving children in crisis. There are 26 teams statewide, which assist roughly 2,600 children.
Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, "Home-based crisis intervention allows us to provide young people dealing with serious mental health issues with the help they need, in their own homes, with their families and caregivers. This is extremely important in the recovery process, enabling children and families to thrive in their communities. Home-Based Crisis Intervention teams are highly effective, and this expansion will help us to serve many more young people and families."
Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kerri E. Neifeld said, "Supporting children with developmental disabilities to live at home with their families in their community is a priority for OPWDD. Ensuring access to crisis services is a key component of that support and a vital part of OPWDD's five-year strategic plan. I applaud Governor Hochul for supporting us and our sister agencies to meet this long-standing need and am grateful to the Office of Mental Health and the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council for their partnership in this critical expansion of services that will benefit children and their families."
Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Executive Director Vicky Hiffa said, "Access to the timely care that will be provided by the specialized Home-Based Crisis Intervention teams will be critical for youth in crisis to avoid out of home placements. The Developmental Disabilities Planning Council is proud to support the creation of two Home-Based Crisis Intervention teams, which will provide youth with developmental disabilities and their families with the necessary tools to respond to an acute mental health crisis while being able to remain at home."
Governor Hochul's FY 2024 Executive Budget proposes significant increases for children's mental health, including $5 million in additional funding for Home-Based Crisis Intervention teams; $20 million to expand mental health services in schools by increasing Medicaid payment rates for school-based satellite clinics; a $10 million investment to expand school-based wraparound services, including an annual investment to provide the start-up funding necessary to get new and expanded school services in operation quickly; and $10 million in grants to suicide prevention programs targeting high-risk youth. When enacted, these investments will improve mental health supports for children and youth throughout the state.
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