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Child Mind Institute Applauds Governor Hochul’s Elevation of Mental Health in State of the State

January 12, 2024

New York State Legislature Should Take Comprehensive Approach to Tackle Youth Mental Health Crisis

New York, NY Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, founding president and medical director of the Child Mind Institute, the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health, shared the following statement in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2024 State of the State address and proposed legislative agenda:

“We applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to the defining public health challenge of the next generation – the youth mental health crisis. Elevating mental health in New York state’s 2024 priorities sets the stage for the Hochul administration and the state legislature to support critical mental health tools for children and adolescents, such as educational initiatives to promote safe social media use, access to evidence-based care and resources in schools, and increased funding for brain science research.

Our research shows that one-third of children reported ‘negative’ online experiences in the last year and 70% of those children reported repeated incidents. In addition to equipping youth with age-appropriate tools to navigate the internet, we need technological safeguards and policy proposals – based on research – that aim to reduce the risk of social media and internet use harming kids.

“We agree with Gov. Hochul that all students should have access to mental health resources. We must look to innovative approaches that focus on scaling the number of mental health providers and educators trained in evidenced-based practices and promote collaborative relationships with school partners to build sustainable access for students throughout the state.

“Missing from her remarks was a call for increased investment in research to advance the field of child and adolescent mental health and strengthen our understanding of the developing brain. One of the greatest barriers to reliably improving mental health interventions is the fact that diagnosis and treatment are subjective. Identifying objective, measurable brain-and behavior-based biomarkers is critical to guide successful care plans. Additional investment is needed into science-based digital tools that connect kids, families, and mental health professionals, or otherwise leverage technology and social media for good.

“We look forward to seeing resources dedicated to mental health support for children across the state of New York in the Executive Budget next week, and the Child Mind Institute stands ready to work with the Hochul administration to advance these priorities.”

About the Child Mind Institute

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The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders by giving them the help they need. We’ve become the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health by providing gold-standard evidence-based care, delivering educational resources to millions of families each year, training educators in underserved communities, and developing tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments.

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