New York City has just taken a much-needed step in the right direction when it comes to providing mental health services for school children aged six and under.
According to the New York Daily News, the office of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured left) just announced that it will pump $4.6 million dollars into NYC’s Early Childhood Mental Health Network (ECMHN). Starting in October, seven new ECMHN clinics will be opened in all five NYC boroughs.
New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray (pictured right) is a major proponent of this new initiative. McCray has been vocal about NYC’s new contribution to mental health services for children.
She says that this move is a big help toward helping ThriveNYC, a broader initiative designed for assisting in the efforts toward providing mental health services for children and young adults.
“Everyone will face hardship. That is a part of life,” McCray said in a statement.
“By acting early to help our youngest New Yorkers understand and manage their emotions, we can better equip them to handle stress, prevent or lessen the severity of future mental health challenges, and set them up for success. It is easier to grow a healthy child than to mend a broken adult,” she continued.
Under the new program, around 400 pre-kindergarten and day care facilities will get additional classroom and training resources to support mental health services for a variety of children.
Over 3,000 children and their families will have the opportunity to be the first participants in the project. The project’s administrators hope that eventually all of the city’s children and families will have access to adequate mental health resources at every city day care facility and universal pre-kindergarten education center.
The location of all the new clinics has not been determined as of yet. However, Carmen Fariña, the Chancellor of NYC’s public schools reassured that district is dedicated to its obligation to better equip its staffers with better mental health resources for children.
“Teachers and school administrators play an important role in nurturing a child’s social and emotional growth,” Fariña said in a statement.