State Senator Brad Hoylman said: “New York’s growing mental health crisis demands support from the federal government. During this year’s budget hearings, on February 8, 2022, I received a commitment from the NYS Medicaid director that the State would consider applying for a federal waiver under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act to unlock federal dollars for patients in residential facilities and related services. In addition, on May 24, 2022, the State Senate unanimously passed my bill (S.8422) requiring the NYS Department of Health to apply for the Section 1115 Medicaid waiver.
“As made public today, I’m thrilled that the State has now applied for the Section 1115 Medicaid waiver, which is especially fitting since this week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. I congratulate Governor Hochul and Commissioner Bassett for taking this major step towards addressing our mental health crisis by seeking federal support for New Yorkers suffering from mental illness that will help make our streets and subways safer.“
Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, Chair of the NYS Assembly Health Committee, said: "The past few years have made clear that New York has a growing mental health crisis which demands action to properly care for those suffering from mental illness. Far too often after an incident involving a person experiencing mental illness, we later learn that they had sought out and been denied care in the past. This waiver, once approved, will enable funding for the State to provide proper care in a safe environment and reduce the chances of dangerous incidents occurring on our streets."
Council Member Erik Bottcher said: “We have fewer psychiatric beds per capita today than we did in 1850. Antiquated rules and bureaucratic red tape have stood in the way of getting people with serious mental illness into settings where they can receive proper treatment and rehabilitation. We cannot accept a world in which people with mental illness are funneled into jails, the shelter system, or left to die on the street. I’m incredibly grateful that Governor Hochul and Commissioner Bassett have taken this important step towards providing residential treatment options for people with serious mental illness.”