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About the Campaign

About the Campaign

The Campaign is a coalition of behavioral health (mental health and substance use) providers, advocates, and families, that seek to create the public and political will needed to ensure that all children and adolescents in New York receive the high-quality behavioral health services they need, including those they are legally entitled to under the state and federal Mental Hygiene and Parity laws. To do this, we must prioritize children’s behavioral health across the state’s investments and systems.

Who We Serve

The Campaign aims to serve all children and families in New York State with unmet behavioral health care needs. National prevalence estimates suggest that as many as 1 in 5 children currently have or previously had a seriously debilitating mental disorder, totaling 841,000 NY children. Yet the capacity to serve them falls far short of meeting that need. The New York State Office of Mental Health reports that in an average week only 35,865 children receive licensed mental health services, while SAMHSA data compiled by Mental Health America reports that nearly 60% of New York State youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment at all.

What We Are Trying to Achieve

Under federal and State law, commercial insurance companies and Medicaid programs must provide mental health and substance abuse benefits that are equal to coverage for other medical treatment. And yet—despite having insurance—too many parents can’t find, or afford, the services their children need.

We want to work to ensure New York State is meeting its commitment to mental health parity by providing timely access to necessary clinical services; make available a range of evidence-based interventions that have proven effective; and holding accountable the health plans and insurance carriers charged with and paid to deliver behavioral health services to New York’s children.

Who We Are

The Campaign’s policy priorities and advocacy strategy are set through the collaborative work of a Leadership Council. This Leadership Council includes family and youth and advocacy organizations, mental health providers, community and hospital-based clinics, and other committed experts. The Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) and the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School (CNYCA) convene the leadership council.