Advocates to NYC Mayor: Community Mental Health Office Lead Must be Qualified to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis, Rise in Suicide for LGBTQ Youth


February 4, 2022

NEW YORK, NY — As Mayor Eric Adams considers various candidates to run NYC’s Office of Community Mental Health, Citizens’ Committee for Children Executive Director Jennifer March issued the following statement on behalf of the Campaign for Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids:

“The pandemic has pulled the rug out from under New Yorkers. Pandemic impacts – loss of loved ones, loss of employment, housing insecurity, disrupted education, social isolation – have led to skyrocketing mental health needs. In fact, the level of need for children and teens and dearth of services are so severe that the crisis has been named a national emergency. The number of children and youth experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and death by suicide is rising dramatically; children and teens of color and LGBTQ teens, in particular, are disproportionately impacted. A recent national survey showed that more than 40% of LGBTQ youth in the U.S. — including more than half of trans and nonbinary youth — “seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.” The city administration should be doing everything in its power to reduce the stigma around mental health and increase access to prevention and treatment and break down barriers to care. It is critical that a well-qualified candidate leads the Office of Community Mental Health. They must be prepared to work with a plethora of city agencies, direct service providers and community leaders to help address the life and death situation NYC’s children and teens face across communities every day.”

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The Campaign for Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids is a statewide coalition of behavioral health providers,
advocates, and New York families, joining together to create the public and political will necessary to
ensure all children and adolescents in New York receive the high-quality behavioral health services they
need

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