BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — $500 million in 2022 + a 5.4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA):
That's the ask for the Behavioral Health Advocates Coalition, a group of mental health advocacy and providers that tell 7 Eyewitness News they need more funding and resources NOW.
"Once again we are looking at a tsunami. The only way we are going to be able to respond to this is all hands on deck with a broad based approach. That's why we need such a massive move on the Governor's part,” said Allegra Schorr, the CEO of the Coalition of Medication-Assisted Treatment Providers and a partner of the group.
The Coalition hosted a virtual rally on Tuesday with speakers including New York State Senators, advocates, and survivors themselves, to drum up support and attention for their cause. They cite the pandemic, isolationism, and a lack of resources are causes for serious concern.
"We are for the first time deciding treatment based on need. That's hard - and its not good for the patients. Child and family services is all about familiarity, seeing the same people, having the same routine. When that's disrupted or canceled completely, it is not a good situation," said Elizabeth McPartland, the CEO of Child and Family Services in Western New York.
Child and Family Services of Western New York tells 7 Eyewitness News that if you are in need of services, their website is available for all types of mental health help.
They also encourage to support the Coalition, by calling local government officials in your area.
If that's not possible, a second option is to fill out the link on the governor's website: and include the text "Complete the form to the governor and ask her to include 5.4% COLA and $500 million in the budget for the behavioral health sector."