$108 Million to Expand Student Access to Mental Health Support

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of foliage just outside downtown Orchard Park, New York.Photo byPhoto by J.M. Lesinski

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the allocation of roughly $108 million for school districts across New York state to expand student well-being through expanded mental health support.

"The effects of the pandemic on our students were devastating and irreversible – that's why we’re making historic investments to address learning loss and expand mental health support in our schools,” Hochul stated of the funding. “By pinpointing where students have fallen behind and getting them the mental health resources they need, this funding will help put New York students back on the path towards success.”

Any individual school district, BOCES, a consortium of school districts or BOCES’, or any combination can apply for either the Mental Health Recover from COVID School Program (RECOVS) grant or the Learning Loss RECOVS grant.

“I am so pleased that with the support of Governor Hochul, my Senate colleagues and I were able to designate $100 million in funding for schools to address student learning loss and mental health issues in last year’s state budget through the RECOVS program,” remarked New York State Senator Shelley Mayer of the funding. “With this funding announcement, we are now beginning to address these challenges head on and provide schools with the resources they desperately need. There is clear empirical evidence that the COVID pandemic imposed substantial learning loss and emotional challenges to New York’s students, as a result of interruptions in learning and social/emotional development. Now, with the opportunity to access these funds, we can turn the corner and address these serious challenges in the coming year. I applaud Governor Kathy Hochul, the New York State Education Department, and my legislative colleagues for making this funding available, so that New York students can recover from the pandemic with the resources they need and deserve.”

The deadline for applications is August 18, 2023, by five in the afternoon.

“OMH has developed more than 1,000 mental health clinics in schools across the state to date, and this investment continues our commitment to New York State’s young people,” New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan commented of the funding. “Providing services directly in schools increases access, promotes coordinated care, and helps reduce stigma, all of which lead to better health outcomes for young people. Governor Hochul has initiated a bold plan that will support and improve the mental health and wellness of all New Yorkers, especially for the children, youth and families who are facing greater challenges than ever before.”

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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