News in New York – Welcome NYC, Mental Health Plan, Budget Director

March 7, 2023

City Council Launches “Welcome NYC”

City Council announced a new public/private partnership in support of asylum seekers, “Welcome NYC.” The $2.2 million initiative includes $1 million in funding from the city and $1 million from large philanthropic organizations, including the Robin Hood Foundation and the New York Community Trust. The funding will go toward legal services, workforce development, literacy programs, youth services, faith-based services, and food assistance at several organizations across the city.

Adams Mental Health Agenda

Mayor Adams and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Ashwin Vasan formally unveiled “Care, Community, Action: A Mental Health Plan for New York City.” The plan includes $20 million in new commitments, primarily focusing on child and family mental health, the overdose crisis, and support for New Yorkers living with serious mental illness (SMI). The city will be launching a suicide prevention pilot program for youth and a telehealth program for teens in the coming months. Additionally, there are plans to expand the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division. You can read the full plan here.

Robert Megna Named as Budget Director

Governor Hochul has announced the appointment of Robert Megna as New York State’s Budget Director. Megna previously served as Budget Director between 2009 and 2015 under Gov. Paterson and Gov. Cuomo, and he is currently the President of the Rockefeller Institute of Government and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor of the State University of New York. Megna will begin as Budget Director immediately, with plans for him to serve through the current legislative session. Gov. Hochul also noted that Megna will assist with the search for a long-term Budget Director.

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