State Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction Committee on Oversight Hearing
Testimony & Public Comments
February 25, 2022
By: Alice Bufkin
Alice Bufkin, CCC’s Associate Executive Director for Policy and Advocacy, testified on February 25, 2022 at the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction Oversight Hearing: The State of NYC’s Mental Health and Plans to Address the Mental Health Crisis.
The pandemic is having a long-term impact on the mental health of children and adolescents throughout New York. More than 7,000 children have lost a parent or caregiver to COVID-19 statewide, and approximately 325,000 children were thrust into or near poverty.
Children throughout New York City and state have struggled to access adequate care behavioral health care for years, and behavioral health needs have only increased as a result of the pandemic. However, the city can do its part in reversing this behavioral health crisis by:
Strengthen the Behavioral Health Workforce.
Support City Council Mental Health Initiatives.
Follow recommendations made by the Healing-Centered Schools Task Force.
Invest in and scale the Mental Health Continuum for students with significant mental health needs.
Ensure behavioral health services at each public school are effectively communicated to families and communities.
Expand access to school-based mental health clinics and partnerships with community-based mental health providers.
Ensure social workers in schools have adequate clinical supervision to effectively serve students.
Expand and fully complete implementation of restorative justice practices.
Revamp and enhance supports for students with behavioral disabilities in Districts 75 and 79.
Support the mental health needs of New Yorkers under 5.