A New York state senator from the Hudson Valley says the House coronavirus aid package fails to address the pandemic’s behavioral health crisis.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Democrats’ so-called HEROES Act, and Democratic state senator Pete Harckham, of the 40th District, says the $3 billion allocated for mental health support falls short of the $38.5 billion needed to address the crisis. He says there is already a national crisis of suicide, overdose and substance use disorder that is getting worse during the pandemic. He says the closing of some behavioral health facilities; reduced access to supervised care and medication; and social isolation are reasons for the need for increased funding. Harckham did praise the package for including aid to state and local governments, health care infrastructure and education.