The New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (“The Council”) is a statewide, non-profit, 501(c) (3) membership organization comprised of 90 community organizations that provide mental health and/or substance abuse/chemical dependence programs and services for New Yorkers in need. NYS Council members offer a broad array of treatment and recovery services designed to meet the unique needs of children and adolescents, individuals and families seeking assistance. NYS Council member services are available in a variety of community settings including freestanding agencies, behavioral health divisions of general hospitals, and county mental hygiene programs.
The mission of the NYS Council remains unchanged over the last 40 + years. Our objective is to protect and enhance the availability of effective and efficient programs and services that meet the unique needs of undeserved individuals and families in their local communities.
A small group of volunteer provider/representatives founded the NYS Council some 40 years ago. The members of the group had been meeting on an ad hoc basic, providing support and information to one another. Shortly after they began convening as a group, Kennedy Administration put forward and Congress subsequently passed the Community Mental Health Center Act of 1963. It was at this point that the group began working closely with leaders at The Office of Mental Health, assisting the Office with the conceptualization of a network of Community Mental Health Centers to be situated around the state. Shortly thereafter, the group of providers applied for and received a grant from the federal government that permitted them to continue their work as an advisory body to the Office of Mental Health.
In 1989, a group of agency leaders decided to incorporate the organization and form a membership association. They hired a part-time executive director who was responsible for monitoring trends, working cooperatively with the Office of Mental Health and other government agencies, and coordinating regional meetings for members.
Today, the NYS Council is the only statewide membership association focusing specifically on mental health and substance use service issues facing providers who operate these programs in hospitals, counties, and freestanding community agencies. Our organization has more than doubled its’ membership over the last 7 years. Today, the Council proudly represents 78 organizations situated across New York. Our office is located in Albany just steps away from the NYS State Capitol, and the Legislative Office Buildings.
For more information on the work of the New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, please contact Lauri Cole, Executive Director at (518) 445-2642.