Press Release: NYAPRS’ 26th Annual Legislative Day: Mental Health Rally and News Conference

Health Justice, Media Coverage, News, Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response


Contact: Harvey Rosenthal, CEO, NYAPRS; Luke Sikinyi, Public Policy Director, NYAPRS, [email protected], 518-703-0264;; Minhee Cho, Director of Media Strategy, Fountain House, [email protected], 347-498-4236


We will not hospitalize or coerce our way out of new York’s mental health crisis.

ALBANY, NY — On Monday March 13 at 1:00 p.m., hundreds of advocates and people impacted by major mental health, addiction, and trauma-related challenges will march from the Hart Auditorium at the Egg to the Capital, calling for an critically needed 8.5% COLA along with funding for proven, viable alternatives to incarceration, hospitalization, and homelessness that have been shown to improve engagement and outcomes for New Yorkers with major mental health, addiction and trauma related conditions.

WHAT: NYAPRS’ 26th Annual Legislative Day: Mental Health Rally and News Conference

WHO: NYAPRS’ Harvey Rosenthal and Luke Sikinyi, alongside prominent state legislators, advocates, and people with lived experience of mental illness from the Association for Community Living, Center for Community Alternatives, Community Access, Fountain House, The Mental Health Association of New York State, NAMI-NYC, New York Association on Independent Living, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), and VOCAL-NY, among others.

WHEN:                        March 13, from 1:00pm to 1:45pm

WHERE:                      New York State Capitol, Million Dollar Staircase

Led by the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS), the rally and accompanying news conference will specifically highlight the urgent need for the 8.5% COLA and compassionate, cost-effective, and common sense policies that Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature could immediately fund and adopt, including Project INSETPeer BridgersHousing First, and Clubhouses, to address some of the state’s most urgent and intersectional issues.

About The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS)NYAPRS is a statewide coalition of people who use and/or provide recovery-oriented community-based mental health services. We value difference and promote cultural competence in all aspects of our work. NYAPRS is dedicated to improving services and social conditions for people with psychiatric disabilities or diagnoses, and those with trauma-related conditions by promoting their recovery, rehabilitation, and rights so that all people can participate freely in the opportunities of society.


NYAPRS is extremely grateful that the Governor’s budget provides $2.8 million for 3 additional INSET peer engagement hospital diversion programs.

In addition, significant contributing factors to the mental health crisis are failed hospital discharge planning plans that typically result in high rates of avoidable relapse and recidivism for New Yorkers with major mental health challenges, all too often only days after discharge.

Accordingly, the Executive Budget should include additional investments to enhance the discharge planning process by funding 3 hospital-to-community peer bridger programs at $2.5 million and 3 upstate clubhouses at an additional $2.5 million in line with New York City’s plans to triple the number of clubhouse programs in the 5 boroughs. Peer Bridger programs provide individualized peer support during and beyond hospital discharge plans while Clubhouse provide connections to community members, support and employment that can be find across the City and world. Currently, there are no clubhouse programs in upstate New York.


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