ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State is set to become the first state in the nation to enact Youth Assertive Community Treatment teams, which serve children ages ten to 21 and their families, providing services and support in the home and community settings. The services, which allow young people at risk of entering residential psychiatric treatment the opportunity to stay with their families, were funded with over $21 million, Governor Kathy Hochul said Tuesday.

Nearly $15 million in funding is annual and will be provided through state-aid and Medicaid reimbursements, and $6 million is one-time start-up funding from the federal government provided through time-limited expansions of the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and Federal Medical Assistance Percentage Programs. Additional funding for those programs was allocated under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan.

Youth Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team providers are not-for-profit organizations that have experience providing mental health services to people with serious emotional disturbance. They will create and oversee ACT teams, which are multi-disciplinary and include psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, mental health clinicians, and peer advocates.

By using a team approach, Youth ACT teams can deliver intensive, highly coordinated, individualized services and skilled therapeutic interventions to ensure the child and their family have the level of treatment and services to support their recovery. They are highly responsive and flexible to meet the individualized, changing needs of the child and family, and they offer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Representative Paul Tonko said, “The pandemic took an unprecedented toll on the mental health of countless people, and few have felt that burden more than our kids. From the very beginning of this crisis, I pushed to ensure that we support our children, young adults, and all Americans, and I was proud to help secure vital funding for the CMHS block grant and FMAP programs to provide that assistance. I thank Governor Hochul for her dedication to understanding and addressing the hidden costs of this crisis and providing support to our communities.”

The development of Youth ACT represents a commitment by the New York State Office of Mental health (OMH) to increase access to services in the home and community for young people with mental health issues and their families. As the teams begin to treat clients, OMH will evaluate their effectiveness and has formed a steering committee to guide the evaluation and refine the model.

In the Capital Region, a Youth Act team will be launched at Parson’s Child and Family Centers, serving Albany and Schenectady Counties. The team has 36 slots.

Youth ACT Teams by New York State region outside of the Capital Region:

Central New York: 

Onondaga Case Management, serving Onondaga County, 48 slot team 

Hillside, serving Chenango and Cortland counties, 36 slot team

Finger Lakes: 

Hillside, serving Monroe County, 48 slot team 

Long Island: 

Central Nassau, serving Nassau County, 48 slot team 

Hope for Youth, serving Suffolk County, 36 slot team 

Mid-Hudson: 

MHA Westchester, serving Westchester County, 48 slot team 

New York City: 

Child Center of NY, serving Manhattan, 48 slot team 

Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services, serving Staten Island, 36 slot team 

Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services, serving Queens, 36 slot team 

Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services, serving the Bronx, 36 slot team 

JCCA, serving Brooklyn, 48 slot team 

Southern Tier: 

Children’s Home of Wyoming, serving Broome County, 48 slot team 

Western New York: 

Child and Family Services, serving Erie & Niagara Counties, 48 slot team 

Mohawk Valley:

Integrated Community Alternatives Network (ICAN), serving Oneida County, 48 slot team

OMH will soon be issuing a Request for Proposal to develop another five teams that will serve children and families in the following counties: 

Capital Region: 

One team serving Warren, Washington, and Saratoga Counties 

Mid-Hudson:  

One team serving Orange County 

Mohawk Valley:

One team serving Fulton and Montgomery Counties

Finger Lakes: 

One team Serving Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, and Yates Counties 

Southern Tier 

One team Serving Steuben and Chemung Counties