Over the past 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed disparities in access to mental health care across New York State. Yet, as the need to address mental health equity — an often stigmatized health issue among schools and families — continues to grow, so too has it underscored the need to support mental health providers.
Since 1960, the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS) has been improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities by ensuring that all have access to mental health services. Now, as they continue to adapt to the events of 2020 and students make the gradual return back to in-person schooling, MHANYS is increasing efforts to support families and schools in New York State.
To aid their efforts, the Foundation granted MHANYS $216,561 to support the MHANYS Family Education Project to provide guidance and resources to educate families and schools, equipping them to address mental health issues. Specifically, the grant will expand the organization’s Family Education Project by developing mental-health-related content as well as offering capacity-building programming that would give families and school communities the tools to effectively deal with student mental health concerns.
The expanded MHANYS Family Education Project will help nearly 3,700 New Yorkers increase their mental health literacy through free monthly webinars, regional mental health learning communities, a family source section on the MHANYS website, and a resource center that responds to requests for information.
It is clear — mental health is not a one-size-fits-all approach. As the school year ramps up and the return to in-person learning grows, students, families, and faculty in New York State must be equipped with the necessary mental health resources.