Cecilia Tkaczyk's posts related to Mental Health

Tkaczyk Calls for Strengthening of Community Mental Health Reinvestment Act

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, called on the Senate leadership to strengthen and provide adequate funding for the for the Community Mental Health Reinvestment Act. Tkaczyk noted that community-based services are less expensive for taxpayers and more effective for recipients than is institutional care.

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Senator Tkaczyk, Assemblywoman Gunther Fight for Community-Based Mental Healthcare

(ALBANY, NY) -- Although community mental health needs are at an all-time high, funding for those programs has been diverted to the General Fund for ten of the last 20 years. State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk (ranking member of the Senate Mental Health Committee) and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (chair of the Assembly Mental Health Committee) have introduced legislation to address that lack of funding and the current critical shortage of community-based services.

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September 2013 has been designated as Suicide Prevention Month in New York State

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the United States, the third leading cause of death among individuals  between  the ages  of  15  to 24, and the second leading cause of death among college students. More than twenty percent of those who die  by  suicide  are  active  or retired members of the military.

A great many suicides are preventable. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, together with  thousands of advocates, caregivers,  consumers  and  professionals  work  tirelessly to raise awareness, reduce stigma, educate New Yorkers and influence public policy to make mental health services readily available and accessible.

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Tkaczyk Mental Health Reinvestment Measure Moves Through Committee

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk’s legislation to strengthen the State’s community-based mental health services has been reported from the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Senator Tkaczyk last year introduced the “Communities of Excellence Mental Health Reinvestment Act,” which would take money saved from consolidation of the State’s psychiatric hospital system and use it to ensure that our community-based services are appropriately funded.

Similar legislation was introduced this year by Senator David Carlucci, Chairman of the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, together with Senator Tkaczyk, Ranking Democratic member on the committee, and Senator Thomas Libous, the former chair of the committee.

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Tkaczyk: OMH Shortchanges Community Mental Health Reinvestment

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk today disputed claims by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) about the savings to be generated from the planned downsizing of the State’s psychiatric hospital system. By underestimating those savings, the agency is shortchanging the “Community Mental Health Reinvestment Program” by millions of dollars.

The Executive Budget proposes closing 399 beds and OMH estimates annual savings per bed to be $110,000 -- a total savings of about $43 million annually.

However, holding a billing statement from the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) Senator Tkaczyk noted that the daily rate for an inpatient bed in a state psychiatric hospital is more than $1,100, yielding annual savings of $408,000 per bed.

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