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  • NYC school mental health jobs are on the chopping block. The City Council wants them back.

    Apr 5, 2024

    The Good Brigade/Getty Images

    Gothamist – New York City is poised to lose funding for 60 school psychologists and nearly a quarter of the roughly 2,000 social workers embedded in public schools, even as Mayor Eric Adams has warned of an ongoing “youth mental health crisis.”

    The support staff were hired as part of a major expansion of mental health services in city schools that Bill de Blasio’s administration launched in 2021 to address trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the funding for the posts under the federal American Rescue Plan Act is set to expire in September and no local tax dollars have replaced those funds yet.

    The pending loss comes as parents, educators and mental health experts continue to voice concern about long delays scheduling mental health appointments for children. Three years after the launch of the pandemic-era program, child welfare advocates say demand for therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists remains just as high.

    Even the current level of mental health services in city schools falls short of demand, according to Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children, a nonprofit that helps families access services students need at school.