Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids State Budget Virtual Rally


February 2, 2022

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Since the start of the pandemic, thousands of children have experienced trauma due to the loss of loved ones, household financial instability, and disruptions in school and their everyday lives. These have exacerbated their need for mental health services and further strained a system that is unable to meet their needs.
Take two minutes to send state leaders a pre-written letter urging state leaders to prioritize the behavioral health needs of children and families.

Take Action! >

Tweet at Gov. Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie urging them to support children’s behavioral health needs in New York.

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The pandemic has increased mental health needs of NY’s children and further strained a system that was already unable to serve them. @GovKathyHochul @CarlHeastie @AndreaSCousins ensure the FY ’23 budget supports the behavioral health needs of NY’s children.

Presented By

Join the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids Campaign on February 2nd at 11am for our State Budget Virtual Rally for children’s behavioral health!

During this rally we’ll bring together advocates, caregivers, youth, service providers and elected leaders to call on Governor Hochul and the State Legislature to ensure that state budget investments prioritize children and address mental health challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers Include

Warren Y. K. Ng, M.D., M.P.H.Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University; Medical Director for Outpatient Behavioral Health at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC); and Director of Clinical Services, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at CUIMC

Kim KaiserDirector of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Families Together in New York State

Eugenia BamfoHigh School Junior from the Bronx and Mental Health Advocate

Maria CristalliPresident and CEO of Hillside Family of Agencies

Keith Little, President and CEO of SCO Family of Services

Moderated by Alice Bufkin, MPAff, Associate Executive Director for Policy and Advocacy at Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York

Why is this so Important?

As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the depth of the behavioral health crisis for our state’s children is difficult to overstate. Even prior to the pandemic, death by suicide was the second leading cause of death among children age 15-19, and roughly half of children with a behavioral health condition did not receive treatment or counseling.

Families 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.

In New York and across the country, the pandemic has led to declines in critical mental health screenings and access to services, even as rates of anxiety, depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation have risen. Children are experiencing serious emotional distress, yet have been unable to access adequate primary and preventive services, resulting in stark increases of psychiatric symptomatology and hospitalizations. This has created a perfect storm that is impacting all children, and disproportionately impacting low-income communities and families of color.

We have the opportunity to change this narrative by investing in the behavioral health services children need. Join us in advocating for New York leaders to address the state’s long-standing children’s mental health crisis and make a future where children and families can grow and thrive.