Recent mental health program closures with additional planned shutdowns are of great concern as to the impact that will have on people with mental health issues, their families and the community.
Please consider contacting Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Chair of the Assembly’s Mental Health Committee, regarding the following and ask her to review the cuts and planned cuts in mental health services and programs and to advocate for their restoration:
· Targeted for closure is the Orange County Assertive Community Team (ACT)
The ACT team was developed to serve the most serious and persistent mentally ill (SPMI) individuals in Orange County. These are individuals who have failed at other treatment programs. This program had been extremely effective as evidenced across many outcome measures including improved quality of life, reduced risk of incarceration, reduced risk of re-hospitalization and reduced risk of harm to self and others. The ACT program not only works to improve lives, but also saves the system institutionalization related costs by reducing jail and inpatient stay. It is a shame and counter-productive that this program is targeted for closure. Current and former patients who have graduated from the program will tell you their stories of how the ACT team is and was a “difference maker” in their lives.
· In Sullivan County, the Monticello clinic is near closing with patients being rerouted to private clinics that are already overburdened with high caseloads
· Speculation exists of imminent closure of the social support program on the grounds of the Middletown Campus (The Friendship Club) that serves between 70-100 clients daily whom often live in a residential or family-care type setting. This program serves as a social hub for members and provides a sense of community and belonging. While this program, itself, has already been affected by staffing shortages which prevent it from providing more intensive, recovery-focused intervention that it used to, it still serves a role for the patients that utilize it.
Honorable Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther
18 Anawana Lake Road
Monticello, NY 12701