CSEA Gets Raise, And CSEA Slams State Legislature For Cutting Mental Health Funding

April 6 2021

Spectrum News reports that the budget will restore $600 million dollars in raises retroactively for state workers that had been withheld over the last year. Click here for full story.

Also, the CSEA union put out a statement today, saying that the state budget is wrongly cutting mental health funding at during the pandemic, when there’s a record high number of suicides.

Today, the New York State Senate and Assembly voted to eliminate 200 inpatient mental health treatment beds operated by the Office of Mental Health (OMH) across New York State, despite having already cut more than 20% of available inpatient beds over the last 7 years.

“At a time of increased needs for mental health treatment, including an increase in youth suicides and mental health issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is abhorrent that the State Senate and Assembly would vote to cut inpatient beds in New York State,” said CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan.

Prior to the pandemic, most OMH facilities were at or near capacity. Without acknowledging that bed use has been drastically altered by COVID-19, the state is now claiming that numbers are at such low levels that they can close hundreds of beds.

In reality, over the last seven years, the State has reduced total inpatient capacity for adults by nearly 25% and taken 32% of beds for children and youths offline. Today’s vote will only exacerbate the strain on our health care system and will leave more New Yorkers without access to the mental health treatment that they need.

Mary E. Sullivan continued, “The Governor, Senate and Assembly have failed New Yorkers by reducing access to inpatient mental health treatment. At such a critical time for the mental health of our state, they are abandoning those who need the services the most. Shameful.”