Assemblywoman Buttenschon Hosted a Youth in Crisis Roundtable

Today, Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-C Marcy) hosted a Youth in Crisis Roundtable to review the support services the state provides to youth in crisis and what measures can be taken to improve those services.

“One of the most pressing issues facing the 119th district is the recent uptick in cases of our youth facing mental health crises. When a child faces a crisis, they are often first sent to a local hospital to be transferred to supportive housing," stated Assemblywoman Buttenschon. "The problem in my district is the lack of supportive housing for the child to be released to. This is extremely problematic because they are then released from the hospital without treatment. This risks a future mental health crisis and/or criminal activity."

Not only is this a problem facing the 119th district, it is a problem throughout the country. According to data released in 2022 by the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 70% of schools reported an increase in students seeking mental health services at schools.

“Because of this disturbing trend, I hosted a roundtable discussion with various New York State commissioners and advocates, as well as my colleagues in the New York State Assembly, to discuss how we can improve the services we provide to our youth," said Assemblywoman Buttenschon.

Chair of the Committee on Children and Families, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi; Chair of the Committee on People with Disabilities, Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright; Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther; and Chair of the Committee on Education Assemblyman Michael Benedetto joined Assemblywoman Buttenschon.

"I would like to thank my colleagues in the Assembly for joining me for this roundtable today," said Buttenschon. "It is important that as a legislative body, we recognize that our youth are in crisis and work to pass legislation to help our most vulnerable. I also would like to thank the commissioners who joined us today and demonstrated their commitment to helping our youth."

“As Chair of the Assembly People with Disabilities Committee, I am proud to have co-hosted the Youth in Crisis Roundtable to uplift the critical concerns raised by advocates and professionals who work in the field to protect our youth. Youth who are struggling must be met with resources. I am proud to cosponsor and strongly support legislation sponsored by my colleague Assembly Member Buttenschon to ensure that state agencies work together to promptly place children in treatment facilities,” said Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright.

"I'd like to thank Assemblywoman Buttenschon for organizing today's roundtable to discuss this critically important issue. Releasing youth in need of services without ensuring they are able to access said services or forcing them to languish in hospitals due to a lack of available services are two unacceptable options. I look forward to working with everyone here today to develop better solutions to meet the needs of our youth in crisis," said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, Chair of the Children and Families Committee.

“As a nurse and Chair of the Assembly Mental Health Committee, I know that the continuity of care for those transitioning from hospitals to communities is vital. Each community should create a streamline system to address this issue. Again, continuity of care is vital to recovery,” said Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther

Also in attendance was Oneida County Sheriff, Robert Maciol.

“In Oneida County, one of the major problems we are seeing is that children who need safe housing are being spread all across the state due to a lack of facilities in the community,” said Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol. “This is not only detrimental to the child, it creates an added burden on families trying to visit their loved one. I want to thank Assemblywoman Buttenschon for continuing to advocate for more safe housing in our community and for holding this roundtable.”

Since being elected to the New York State Assembly, Assemblywoman Buttenschon has continuously worked to help our struggling youth. In this year's New York State Budget, she is requesting that her legislation be included to ensure state agencies work together to promptly place children in treatment facilities. The legislation will also require a report to be submitted to the legislature that will provide recommendations to fill the gaps in treatments across the state (A8023).

In addition to this legislation, she is the sponsor of legislation that will address how the courts deal with juveniles with firearms.

"Under current law, it must be proven that a juvenile displayed a firearm for them to be tried in criminal court. To prevent the case from winding up in family court and ultimately back on the streets, my legislation will remove the requirement to have an adolescent display a loaded firearm. This will allow a smoother prosecution and remove firearms from the hands of our youth (A7059),” explained Buttenschon.

Another way to help our youth in crisis is by providing funding to law enforcement and programs that help at risk youth. Over the summer, the Assemblywoman was joined by New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to announce $1 million in funding to local law enforcement such as the Rome Police Department, Utica Police Department, and the Oneida County Law Enforcement Coalition. Groups such as the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley, Rome NAACP, Utica NAACP and Safe Schools Mohawk Valley also received funding to help at risk youth.

“I want to thank my colleagues and everyone who joined me today. I look forward to working with them to solve this problem. As we work on our FY 2025 budget, I will continue to advocate for the inclusion of my legislation and funding to help our youth,” said the Assemblywoman.