November 1, 2020
As children’s behavioral health providers, advocates, and families, we are deeply concerned about the mental and emotional toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on New York’s children and families. In this new landscape, telehealth has taken on a central role in service delivery, yet vast inequities in telehealth access threaten to widen existing health disparities. Importantly, the voices of those most directly impacted by telehealth access challenges – children, parents, communities, and the providers who serve them – have not been included nearly enough in formal decision-making around how to address systemic barriers to access. We seek to draw attention to some of these central telehealth inequities; identify key questions that must be addressed for these barriers to be tackled; and urge the State to develop effective, meaningful, and ongoing engagement strategies for consumers and service providers.