February 5, 2022
As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to overstate the deep and long- lasting impact the pandemic is having on the mental health of children and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health.
Families in New York have long faced a bleak landscape when trying to access behavioral health services for their children, whether they are seeking preventive care or more intensive and comprehensive services for children with more complex needs. The State has been rapidly shutting down psychiatric beds and residential treatment facilities for children, but has failed to provide long- promised community-based preventive resources that would significantly reduce the need for higher- intensity inpatient services.