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Schumer Says COVID-19 Brought Not Just Global Health and Economic Pandemic, But A Mental Health Crisis As Well; With Anxiety, Depression, & Overdose Rates Surging, Schumer Secures Nearly $5B For Mental Health Services 

Now, Schumer Calls On Feds & NYS To Get Money Out The Door ASAP and Give Central New York Providers – Like Madison County’s Mental Health Task Force –The Immediate Help They Need To Meet Surging Demand 

Schumer: It’s Time To Address The Silent Side Effect Of COVID­­ In CNY - Mental Health! 

Standing at the Madison County Mental Health Clinic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today pushed the federal and state government to immediately put the $5 billion he secured in the American Rescue Plan to work – and send a portion of the new aid to Central New York and providers like the Madison County’s newly created Mental Health Task Force.

Schumer explained that the Madison County Health Department saw a whopping 250% increase in the number of mental health-related crisis calls last year – 192 calls in 2019 and 485 calls in 2020 – with 614 already in 2021, making getting this federal funding out the door all the more critical for Madison County residents struggling with anxiety, depression and addiction. Schumer said that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and New York State must set up the appropriate programs to get the aid out the door to Central New York providers so they can meet rising demand.

Schumer was joined by members of Madison County’s Mental Health Task Force.

“The physical devastation of the pandemic has been widely reported on and acknowledged, but the mental toll of COVID has been an adjacent, hidden pandemic, sparing no age group from children and teens to our elderly,” said Senator Schumer. “Too many of our neighbors are suffering in silence, which is why I fought so hard to make sure the relief bill included record dollars to ramp up mental health resources across the state and Central New York. As New Yorkers, we are stronger when we are together, and this historic investment into combatting the mental health crisis will provide the support our most vulnerable residents need to recover.”

Schumer stressed the importance of combatting the mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, citing a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation that said during the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 1 in 10 adults who reported the same symptoms less than a year ago. Amongst COVID survivors as well, it has been reported that 1 in 3 patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months of physical recovery, indicating that the mental health effects of COVID will last well beyond the end of the pandemic.

“This is a critical moment where we must acknowledge the lasting mental effects of the pandemic and work to combat them before the crisis deepens,” Schumer added. “HHS and New York State must stand up their programs ASAP and begin the hard, but important, work of getting these funds out to support our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

More details on how the Schumer-secured nearly $5 billion will be divided, appear below:

  • $1.5 billion for Community Mental Health block grant (MHBG) and $1.5 billion for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) – the largest aggregate amount of funding distributed to date for these two mental health and substance use block grant programs. These block grants are sent directly to states which distribute the funds to community organizations to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment and services, such as screening, day treatment programs, emergency services, outpatient treatment and more.More than $1 billion for a new federal program to create mobile crisis intervention services, which are dispatched when a person is experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder crisis. These services can work closely with law enforcement and help protect both patients and police officers.
    • Last month, New York State received over $80 million from the MHBG and over $90 million from the SABG.
  • $140 million for mental health needs of doctors, nurses and health care providers, who have struggled with PTSD and exhaustion during the pandemic:$420 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Center Grants, which expand access to timely, coordinated mental health treatment in community-based clinics
    • $80 million for health care professional mental health programs
    • $20 million for a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals and first responders
    • $40 million for grants for health care providers to promote mental and behavioral health among their health professional workforce.
  • $140 million for youth mental health$100 million to the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program to expand access to behavioral health services through training for behavioral health professionals
    • $80 million for pediatric mental health care access
    • $10 million for the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network
    • $50 million for SAMHSA youth mental health services and suicide prevention
  • $30 million for community-based overdose prevention programs, syringe services programs, and other harm reduction services

Schumer noted this funding is on top of the $4.5 billion in mental health funding he secured in the December COVID relief bill.

Schumer also briefly discussed other wins for Madison County in the American Rescue Plan. Out of the estimated more than $100 billion headed to New York, Madison County will receive:

  • Direct Payments: Approximately $82 million in direct payments for nearly an estimated 33,000 households in Madison County
  • Child Tax Credit: Approximately $26 million in relief for families through the expanded Child Tax Credit.
  • Local Governments: More than $20 million for local governments, including more than $13 million for Madison County, $1.1 million for City of Oneida and more than $6 million for towns and villages
  • Higher Education: More than $10.4 million for SUNY Morrisville, $4.2 million for Colgate University, $2.8 million for Cazenovia College

Madison County will also receive a portion of the following funds:

  •  K-12 schools$9 billion for New York
  • New Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement and Testing$4 billion for New York
  • Emergency Rental & Homelessness Assistance$1 billion for New York
  • Nutrition assistance$1.07 billion for New York
  • Earned Income Tax Credit$786 million for New York
  • Broadband Connectivity$632 million for New York
  • Airports: $418 million for New York
  • Head Start$59 million for New York
  • Rural Transit: $12 million for New York
  • Small Business, Restaurant, and Live Venue Relief$57.8 million nationwide
  • Agriculture & Farmer support$4 million nationwide
  • Rural Hospital Assistance$8.5 million nationwide
  • Medicaid FMAP Increase$2.7 million for NY ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to approximately 600 million from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation)