Report Provides Recommendations to Improve Access to Care for Immigrant Communities
New York, NY– The New York Immigration Coalition issued a new report today titled Just and Equitable Behavioral Health for Immigrant New Yorkers: A Policy Agenda. This timely report comes as New York grapples with the devastating health impacts of the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on immigrant communities. The report specifies actions to strengthen New York City’s and New York State’s behavioral health systems and encourage immigrant New Yorkers to access the care they need.
“The Trump administration’s barrage of anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric have induced unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety in immigrant communities. Fear of the federal government has not only amplified the magnitude of behavioral health problems, it has exacerbated the inaccessibility of behavioral health services and made clear the barriers to care that already existed,” said Max Hadler, Director of Health Policy, New York Immigration Coalition. “Our findings show that many immigrants forgo the care they need due to fear and lack of adequate linguistically and culturally appropriate resources. In order to thrive, New York needs a more multi-faceted approach to break down barriers to care so that every resident can access the resources they need to lead healthy, productive lives.”
The report, Just and Equitable Behavioral Health for Immigrant New Yorkers: A Policy Agenda, was written by the NYIC’s Health Policy program and is the culmination of a two-year roundtable process that included the participation of directly affected community members, NYIC member organizations, behavioral health service providers, researchers, and city and state agencies.
Some of the key policy recommendations include:
New York City
- Include $13 million in the city budget to extend ThriveNYC’s Connections to Care and expand the program to more immigrant-serving and immigrant-led community-based organizations
- Fully fund uninsured care programs like NYC Care
- Convene a coordinated citywide faith-based task force on behavioral health for immigrant communities
New York State
- Expand health insurance coverage to ineligible immigrants
- Improve educational affordability by growing low-cost advanced degree programs at public institutions and implementing state-based behavioral health professional loan forgiveness programs
- Develop a Spanish-language version of the New York State Office of Mental Health and New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services patient websites, and patient materials in top six languages spoken in the state