WAMC New York News
11:44 am
Tue January 17, 2012

$1.5 Million in New State Funding will Enhance Mental Health Services in Dutchess County

Poughkeepsie, NY – Officials say Mental Health Services throughout Dutchess County will be bolstered by state funding ... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro has announced the County Department of Mental Hygiene will work with the New York State Office of Mental Health and various community partners to improve and expand mental health services, utilizing an additional $1.5 million in continuous funding from New York State. Parts of Dutchess are feeling the impact of recent cuts and changes in the delivery of mental health services including the pending closure of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center. "These services will have far reaching impacts across multiple health, human services and public safety systems in our County to help improve the quality of life for our residents and reduce the future fiscal burden on Dutchess County taxpayers," said County Executive Molinaro.

Molinaro says this is an opportunity for the county to be a model for other statewide. The funding was secured through the advocacy of New York State Senator Steve Saland.

Commissioner of Mental Hygiene Dr. Kenneth Glatt is developing the County's diversion plan, in collaboration with various community service providers, that addresses current community mental health needs and reduces the need for institutionalization in the future. "I am very pleased County Executive Molinaro acted on this funding opportunity to increase access to mental health treatment. It is clear the County Executive recognizes the need for these services in our county and is responding to that need at a time when the demand for mental health services has never been greater."

Dutchess County Legislator and Assistant Minority Leader Alison MacAvery, who represents District 16-Fishkill/East Fishkill/Beacon, said, "The mental health and well-being of our community is a critical priority. I am pleased County Executive Molinaro has seized this opportunity for new funding to help improve mental health services for those who need them." MacAvery adds that she's hopeful that the state mandates will be alleviated.

New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan's office confirmed the state's commitment to provide the financial resources on an ongoing basis.

County Executive Molinaro will forward a resolution authorizing acceptance of the state diversion funding for consideration and approval by the Dutchess County Legislature at the February Board Meeting.