JCCA Statement on the Mayor’s Mental Health Plan

Ronald E. Richter, Chief Executive Officer of JCCA, one of New York’s oldest child and family services organizations providing child welfare and mental health services, issued the following statement in response to Mayor Adams and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Care, Community, Action: A Mental Health Plan for New York City:

“JCCA commend Mayor Adams and DOHMH for addressing the city’s mental health crisis by creating a three-part mental health plan that includes both child and family mental health.

Given the extraordinary mental health crisis our young people are facing today, we applaud the emphasis being placed on access to prevention behavioral health interventions and the need for youth-informed, culturally-sensitive services.

At the same time, we would be remiss if we didn’t address the shortcomings of existing services for those children that already experience the most serious mental health concerns. We should be looking for ways to reduce wait lists for services, expand community-based care, and ease bureaucratic red tape for providers. Telehealth is a good start, but has limitations, and young people with the most significant needs often benefit most from face-to-face support.

Every day, JCCA staff sees the vital need for services for the children and families that are currently underserved and either already in the child welfare and juvenile legal systems or at risk of entering due to current psychological health issues. As this plan is implemented, we must ensure that these young people have the resources they need to achieve their goals.”