On Thursday, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state will spend $1 billion over multiple years to revamp the state's mental health care.

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According to a press release on Thursday, the plan includes $890 million in capital and $120 million in operating funds to establish and operate 3,500 new residential units for New Yorkers with mental illness.

Governor Hochul stated "New York State's mental health care system was strained and suffering from years of underinvestment even before the global pandemic exacerbated the problem and made things worse. New Yorkers who struggle with mental illness deserve a system that is suited for and responsive to their needs. From creating transitional and supportive housing to expanding our comprehensive network of outpatient services, this bold plan is aimed at providing funding and resources needed to ensure everyone in our state can access high-quality mental health care."

The funds will also go to 1,500 supportive housing units to serve individuals with serious mental illness with less acute needs, but still require support to live in the community.

Governor Hochul has also proposed expanding mental health services in schools by $20 million. The funds would come from increasing Medicaid payment rates for school-based satellite clinics and a $10 million investment to expand school-based wraparound services. There are also plans for an additional $12 million to expand the HealthySteps program and home-based crisis intervention teams, and $10 million in grants to suicide prevention programs targeting high-risk youth.

Another piece of new legislation will give the state Office of Mental Health the authority to fine hospitals who fail to comply with the number of psychiatric beds outlined in their operating certificate up to $2,000 per violation, per day.

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