Growing opioid, mental health services on Gov. Hochul’s 2022 agenda

New England

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- To help New Yorkers overcome addiction, prevent suicide, get help for mental health, and prevent domestic violence, Gov. Kathy Hochul is proposing an expansion of services and new programs that will help mitigate behavioral health problems. Some target the state’s youngest residents through the Medicaid program.

The public’s primary focus has been on COVID-19 since 2020 but pandemic stress and tough economic hardships have increased drug abuse, caused depression, and challenges to mental health, it said in Gov. Hochul’s 2022 State of the State book.

Part of her solution to fight opioid addiction includes greater access to naloxone and buprenorphine, a sterile syringes program, evidence-based community support programs, and access to safe housing.

She also seeks to alleviate challenges for people without health care to get access to addiction and support services. Part of that expands mobile and telehealth services to reach more New Yorkers.

The Mental Wellness Community Workforce will train community members in mental health and make them accessible to the larger community through senior centers, places of worship, and social service agencies. The workforce will start with a pilot program before expanding to other parts of the state. Funding will also be increased to New York’s Home-Based Crisis Intervention program to help more families in crisis.

Mental health professionals will also be integrated into New York’s HealthySteps program. The program has 59 locations that help low-income families identify and work through any potential challenges children may face. Gov Hochul wants mental health professionals to work hand in hand with pediatric primary care providers at well-child visits.

The Gender-Based Violence Training Institute will make a 40-hour training program mandatory for domestic violence advocates as well as a pathway for people to become trainers for the program. Continuing education programs will also be available to address cultural issues and ensure the state’s domestic violence services are survivor-centered and trauma-informed.

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