New York, NY, January 19, 2024–The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC) is concerned that the City’s Fiscal Year 2025 Preliminary Budget and accompanying FY 24 budget modification falls short of ensuring the needed mental healthcare supports for New Yorkers. New York is facing a mental health crisis. This is not the time to make cuts to the nonprofit sector providing a safety net to underinvested and at-risk New Yorkers with mental health challenges, including youth.
The Administration announced in September that it would require agencies to cut their budgets by 5% for each of the upcoming budget updates scheduled for November, February and April via a “program to eliminate the gap” (PEG) process. A PEG cut to the City’s current social services budget compromises mental health services, affordable housing initiatives, public safety, and other essential programs for people living with mental illness and their families. In the face of these cuts and the waning social safety net, this Administration must prioritize meaningful investments into community-based programs, such as NAMI-NYC’s family support programs for those caring for loved ones living with mental illness.
Community-based mental health programs, especially those that support and educate family members, can prevent mental health crises and the revolving door of psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, and incarceration. These programs not only provide a direct service to those with mental healthcare needs but have a trickle up effect that creates a safer, cleaner, and thriving City. We urge the Administration to reconsider the impact of these cuts on our community and New Yorkers.
To learn more or join us in our advocacy work, visit www.naminyc.org/advocacy.