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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

June 02, 2022


Funding Secured through Voluntary Taxpayer Contributions to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) today announced seven awards totaling $105,000 to support community-based organizations in their efforts to address and reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness. 

Funding was provided through the voluntary tax check-off program launched in 2016, which allows taxpayers to contribute easily to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’ when filing their NYS taxes.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Stigma can have a devastating impact on people living with mental illness.  It can lead to discrimination in housing and employment, abuse, and even violence.  Stigma can also prevent or discourage people from seeking the help they need to address their health issues. OMH has partnered with organizations across the State to reduce the negativity and stigma surrounding mental illness, and we thank the people of New York State for generously donating through the tax check-off program. Their support will have a very positive impact on people living with mental illness.”

Awardees for funding include:

Western NY Region

Yates Community Services (Yates County MH)

Hudson River Region

United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region (UWDOR)

Central NY Region

Integrated Community Alternatives Network (ICAN)


Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Program/ SUNY Downstate

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NYC

Montefiore & Adelphi University

Long Island

Hands Across Long Island (HALI)

All agencies selected for funding have experience serving persons with mental illness and are recognized for their work serving underserved, under-represented and/or minority populations.

Eligible activities include but are not limited to: targeted messaging and advertising, production of printed materials, speakers, training, contact with people with lived experience, and multimedia productions. Funding cannot be used to cover the cost of food, conference travel, or other purchases precluded by law or regulation.

In order to be considered, projects need to address one or more of the goals below:

  • Educational Activities - Anti-stigma activities taking place in educational institutions, including colleges and universities, some of which deny admission to people due to their mental health histories. This includes the creation of materials to correct inaccurate depictions of mental illness, which can prevent students with mental illness from fully participating in the educational experience.
  • Underserved Populations - Activities that provide innovative, culturally relevant approaches to reducing stigma in underserved populations.
  • Housing - Activities intended to combat stigma and discrimination in housing which prevent people with mental illness from obtaining and maintaining safe and affordable housing. Targeted audiences may include landlords, homeowners, management companies serving landlords and owners, building superintends and billing/rent collection personnel.
  • Employment - Activities intended to combat stigma and discrimination in the workplace which make it difficult for people living with mental illness to find and keep meaningful jobs. Targeted audiences may include corporate employers, Department of Labor representatives and employment/staffing agencies.
  • Parenting - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals with mental illness who are also parents.
  • Media - Activities intended to combat the stigma, discrimination, and negative stereotypes in the media. This could also include social media.
  • Health Care - Activities intended to combat stigma and discrimination in the health care system that leads to people with mental illness not receiving the health care they need.





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