(WNY News Now) – Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled a groundbreaking step in the New York State’s $1 billion plan to revolutionize mental health care in New York, announcing conditional funding for 13 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.
New York – Governor Hochul’s initiative doubles the number of clinics statewide, injecting $3.5 million into the program. These Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics will play a pivotal role in expanding person-centered and trauma-informed care for individuals grappling with behavioral health issues.
“We’re continuing to build on our nation leading work to make mental health and addiction care more accessible to all New Yorkers, regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic status. We had a chance today to talk to people who are dealing with co-occurring disorders.
What does that mean? You can have mental health challenges and have depression and suicidal thoughts, be bipolar, but also have substance abuse challenges, addiction to fentanyl, to opioids, and other addictive materials. Often you have to go to two different places. Think about that. You have to go here for your mental health services and then find time in your day, in your life. To then have to go find support for your addictions and to how you can get support and therapy for two different co-occurring disorders. We’re changing that. That model does not work any longer. You come to a place here like VIP here in the Bronx who are doing an extraordinary job helping people heal completely.
And that’s, those are the services we’re intended here to provide. We also want to make sure that people know that this is a place where we can provide mobile services. We just invested over $200,000 in a unit I toured outside. The mobile medication unit. I talked to the nurse and the individuals involved there. They literally travel to different places. The one out front goes here in the Bronx, goes to Queens, goes to Manhattan.
And what they’re doing is making sure that they can provide methadone or, Fentanyl test strips or Naloxone to people who won’t have to take time out of their lives to get help and get services. They can do it right in the community where they pull up this van. So that was a $200,000 investment right here. But as I develop my third State of the State Address. This is the third year I’m making mental health a high priority. Discussions like I had here today with some of the staff and with some of the patients help me shape and understand where the investments need to go.
And this place here treats over 7,000 people a year. It’s one of the largest opioid treatment facilities in the state. And again, it’s all about that integrated care, that there’s not one size fits all, that you come here for one service, you go there for another. It’s all under one roof, and that’s the power of what we’re talking about here.
We’re going to continue focusing on this model. We are now increasing – I’m announcing today – the number from 13 places like this, facilities in the State of New York, to 26. And we’ll have one in each of the regions of the state. Six will be in New York City, seven Upstate. And this is just one phase of it as well.
We’ll soon have 39 clinics. This will help serve thousands and thousands of New Yorkers, literally tripling the number of we’ve had since I came into office and making sure that we continue these investments. Also, people walk in the door, they don’t have an insurance card, they don’t have a doctor, they don’t have any kind of coverage. We’re investing an additional $11 million to help people overcome this. They can walk in the door and still get services and insurance will still be paid for.
We want to make sure that people’s ability to access service, it’s all about access, is not affected by their ability to pay. And that’s what this is, why we’re talking about – regardless of where they live, what their socioeconomic status is, their income levels, they all deserve to heal and that’s what we’re talking about here today with this announcement of continued funding, more resources, and supporting this model because it has been so successful.”