Long before the pandemic, policymakers, providers, and community members were concerned about the growing mental health and substance use crises in the city. Access to appropriate behavioral services is plagued by the same inequities in health care more broadly and further hindered by historic stigma. This is a multi-faceted issue that spans a broad continuum from anxiety and depression to psychotic disorders, as well as a similar range of substance use disorders. Nearly all candidates suggest approaches to addressing the behavioral health needs of New Yorkers, ranging from better access to services, an enhanced behavioral health workforce, and better prevention and harm-reduction approaches. Several candidates also connect behavioral health policies to broader safety and justice strategies with a focus on reducing police involvement in behavioral health crisis response. 

Eric Adams on Mental Health

Art Chang on Mental Health

Shaun Donovan on Mental Health

Kathryn Garcia on Mental Health

Ray McGuire on Mental Health

Dianne Morales on Mental Health

Scott Stringer on Mental Health

Andrew Yang on Mental Health

The statements above were collected and reposted by UHF as part of a guide to mayoral candidates’ positions on health care and related issues, published May 25, 2021. They present either exact language from the candidates’ websites and supporting materials found on those websites, or direct text from responses to a UHF-fielded candidate survey.

Click here to return to the Mayoral Health Policy Roundup page.