Welcome to NYS Council for
Community Behavioral Healthcare


Latest News & Information


The NYS Council applauds both houses of the New York State Legislature for their one house budget proposals that support an 8.5% Cost of Living​ ​Adjustment for our essential mental health and substance use disorder/addictions workforce employed in community-based agencies around the state.  We are also delighted that both houses have prioritized a set aside of funding for community-based organizations from the proposed $1B Statewide Healthcare Facilities Transformation Program-V.

​​Members of the NYS Council are heartened that both houses support the expansion of the NYS Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Program (CCBHC) – a federal demonstration program that has expanded access to evidence-based care and improved the quality of care for New Yorkers located in communities with these services.  We call on the Governor and the Senate to match the Assembly proposal that would increase the funds made available for this Program by $10M so more communities around the state can benefit from this game changing model of care.

Both houses have a long history of ensuring New Yorkers have equal access to services. As such, we are concerned that the Assembly has omitted a group of insurance-related proposals that would ensure access to behavioral health care for New Yorkers with commercial insurance benefits.  Going forward, the NYS Council will continue to lead efforts to ensure the Network Adequacy proposal that would require NYS to modernize the standards insurers must meet while we push for stepped up enforcement of these guardrails.  Without these changes, New Yorkers will continue to sit on waiting lists instead of getting timely​ ​care they need and are entitled to.  We thank the Senate for seeing the importance of the insurance proposals.

We urge state leaders to increase rates for mental health and substance use disorder programs that are financially stressed due to a historic lack of investment in our sector.  Waiting lists for care are the direct result of inadequate rates that tie our hands when attempting to recruit and retain staff.  At the present time we are not competitive with other businesses where the work is less demanding, and salaries are much better.  We are hemorrhaging staff, and this must change.

Finally, we implore state leaders to prioritize additional investments to arrest the deadly Opioid Epidemic that is ravaging our communities.  The Senate has proposed $40M to address the priorities of the Opioid Advisory Board and we implore the Governor and the Assembly to match this investment.  Lawmakers should also make investments in primary prevention services, and address waiting lists for care by making resources available to expand treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services to reverse troubling data that confirms New York has failed to reverse this lethal public health crisis.    


The Higher Education Services Corporation has announced the availability of funds for the NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness (LSWLF) Program.  This Program is offered to increase the number of licensed social workers working in critical human service areas, including but not limited to the following fields: home care, health, mental health, substance abuse, aging, HIV/AIDS and child welfare or communities with multilingual needs.

Eligible student loans include NYS and federal government student loans, and private student loans made by commercial entities subject to governmental examination.  Parent PLUS loans are not eligible. Ineligible loans also include non-educational student loan consolidations and home equity loans used to pay off student loans.

The maximum award under this Program is $26,000 or the applicant’s actual eligible student loan indebtedness, whichever is less. Applications are due April 13, 2023.

Additional details about the program and the application to apply are available online here.


Twelve advocacy groups across New York State, including the NYS Council,  held a rally in Albany to call on legislators and the Governor to include an 8.5% increase in the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), and $500M for rate increases, in the 2023-2024 State Fiscal Year’s budget.

Please take a moment to send a letter to your legislators, per the link below in support of the 8.5% increase in COLA and $500M for rate increases.  Your voice will make a difference!


(Please Note: Add your full address, city, state, zip in the address bar)

While pleased with Governor Hochul’s overall support of behavioral health, the budget proposal included a 2.5% COLA increase, less than last year’s budget, and advocates say this isn’t enough. The COLA is not just about staff salaries. It must also address ever increasing costs associated with operating programs and services, such as gas, food, utilities, insurance, etc.

The full press release is available online here.


The NYS Council thanks Governor Hochul for responding in her State of the State proposals to our request to expand the federal CCBHC Demo in NY from 13 to 39 CCBHCs.  The 13 clinics have produced extraordinary outcomes, reducing ED and inpatient usage by 20-30% for the people they serve. In addition, by participating in the demonstration, New York has received increased federal Medicaid revenue for every CCBHC visit.

The federal government is very supportive of states expanding the CCBHC Demo Program, to bring a far better model of behavioral healthcare to scale and do it while reducing the state’s spending on Medicaid. CMS agreed to allow states like NY that already participate in the federal demonstration program, to expand the number of agencies participating in the demo program.

Statewide expansion of the CCBHC Demo across New York can and should be viewed as a cost savings initiative. The bigger the expansion, the bigger the savings for NYS according to a recent Financial Analysis (LINK HERE) the NYS Council commissioned from Health Management Associates (HMA) where actuaries found that New York State experienced a significant return on its modest investment in the CCBHC Demonstration Program, and that vast expansion makes sense not only for the individuals we serve, but for New York State taxpayers as well.

Upcoming Events