Even as Youth Suicides Rise, New York State Cuts Funds For Kids’ Mental Health

Issue Reports & Briefs

December 1, 2019

Christina Hauptman knows that if her son, Cody, doesn’t get help soon, he’ll end up back in the hospital—or worse.

When he’s well, Hauptman says, Cody’s a sweet 12-year-old. He likes to take care of rescue animals, and he fantasizes about winning the lottery and opening a center for young children with mental health problems. But when he’s sick, he suffers from episodes of psychosis, which often turn violent. His first visit to a psychiatric emergency room happened when he was 4 years old. By the time he was 9, he’d been hospitalized 17 times.

One of the worst moments of Hauptman’s life, she says, was when Cody begged her to let him kill himself after he had flown into a rage and attacked her.

Two years ago, Cody ended up in a residential program in upstate New York that seemed to help him. He worked with animals, got stable on medication, and graduated with a plan to come back to Hauptman’s home, on Long Island, and receive specialized mental health services in his community.

Three months later, those services haven’t materialized and are nowhere in sight.

“I’ve called every provider on Long Island,” Hauptman said. “They tell me Cody’s at the top of the waitlist because he’s such a high-risk child, but no one has room for him.”

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