Alert: Call Albany to Push for State Hospital Downsizing/Reinvestment!

Several NYS Democratic state legislators and mental health advocates held a news conference a few hours ago in Albany calling on Republican Senators to join them, the Assembly and Governor Cuomo in keeping the promise of Community Reinvestment that was included in this year's Executive budget proposal.The Community Reinvestment Act was passed 20 years ago to provide for the downsizing of New York's largest-in-the-nation state psychiatric hospital system and the redirection of a portion of the savings in to ramping up community recovery supports, including peer support, employment, housing, crisis and children's' services. It funneled over $200 million of public dollars to where the vast majority of people with ongoing mental health conditions want to live, recover and be a part of their communities.
But in recent years, savings from the ongoing closure of state hospitals and wards have been largely been lost to mental health services, having been gobbled up for state savings. In his 2013-4 budget proposal, Governor Cuomo has proposed a plan to close more facilities and wards and to create a smaller number of regional Centers of Excellence and to bring back a small version of Reinvestment, $5 of the $25 million that's projected to be saved.

However, state legislators appear to be rejecting the Governor's specific proposal to downsize a system that spends more money for more facilities serving less people than the next few states combined! They apparently see the state hospital system as a jobs program not a treatment program. Further, Republic Senate leaders have taken all of the reinvestment dollars out, in contrast to the Assembly.

It appears that some form of downsizing other than the regional Centers plan may be still on the table. So, please join your fellow advocates from across New York to call Albany today and every day this week, as follows below!

Make 2 calls to the NYS Senate, calling
Senate leaders Skelos at 518-455-3171 andKlein at 518-455-3595
and call Assembly Speaker Silver at 518-455-4911
and leave the following message:
"I'm a registered voter from (your locality) calling to urge you to downsize state psychiatric hospitals & reinvest savings into community recovery services!