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NY Looks to Fund School-Based Mental Health Clinics


Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced new steps to combat the youth mental health crisis.

Expanding School-Based Mental Health Clinics  

The state has unveiled $20 million in start-up funding for school-based mental health clinics and launched a rolling application, which will make it easier for interested schools to access state funding. With support from a school wanting to establish a clinic satellite, providers can now apply for start-up funding on a rolling basis rather than through the state procurement process previously used. This effort is part of Governor Kathy Hochul’s commitment to put a school-based mental health clinic in every school that wants one.

Licensed OMH clinic providers can now apply to establish a school-based satellite clinic through the Mental Health Provider Data Exchange. Every new school satellite clinic will automatically be eligible for $25,000 in start-up funding. High-need schools, or those where more than 50 percent of students are classified as coming from an economically disadvantaged household, are eligible for an additional $20,000.

Tuesday’s announcement builds on the $5.1 million awarded in November to support 137 new school-based clinics, including 82 at high-needs schools, and bringing the total number of clinics to more than 1,200 statewide.

Launching Governor’s Youth Mental Health Advisory Board  

Governor Hochul also announced that her Youth Mental Health Advisory Board will begin accepting applications from interested children and teenagers. The application portal for the advisory board is now open. Middle and high school students interested in mental health issues or with lived experience are encouraged to apply for the advisory board.

This initiative emerged following last year’s statewide youth mental health listening tour and Youth Mental Health Summit. During those engagement sessions, young people communicated that they wanted their voices to be heard, and in response, Governor Hochul created the Youth Mental Health Advisory Board as part of the 2024 State of the State.

The Governor’s Youth Mental Health Advisory Board will ensure that youth-informed best practices continue to be incorporated into New York’s public behavioral health programs and initiatives.

Protecting Children Online

Governor Hochul is continuing to advocate for the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation for Kids Act (SAFE for Kids Act), which she included in her FY25 Executive Budget. This proposal would regulate unhealthy social media usage by prohibiting platforms from providing addictive algorithmic feeds to kids without parental consent.

In 2023, the US Surgeon General said that social media can “have a profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.” This legislation would require social media companies to restrict the addictive features that harm young users while still allowing access to the platform and empowering the Office of the Attorney General to bring actions forward for violators. Additionally, the New York Child Data Protection Act would prohibit online sites from collecting, using, sharing, or selling personal data of anyone under the age of 18 without their consent.

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