The state’s largest public workers union on Tuesday knocked a provision in the agreed-to $212 billion state budget that will cut 200 beds used for inpatient mental health treatment services at the Office of Mental Health.
The cut is part of a broader trend in the last seven years as 20% of inpatient beds have been slashed by the state.
And the most recent move comes as the pandemic has worn at the fabric of society, CSEA President Mary Sullivan said in a statement. Most facilities overseen by the Office of Mental Health were at or near capacity.
“At a time of increased needs for mental health treatment, including an increase in youth suicides and mental health issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is abhorrent that the state Senate and Assembly would vote to cut inpatient beds in New York state,” Sullivan said.
Inpatient capacity for adults at these facilities has been cut by nearly 25% over the last seven years. Sullivan is worried the cuts in the budget would add to the strain placed on the system.
“At such a critical time for the mental health of our state, they are abandoning those who need the services the most,” she said.