Publication Details

New York City’s Children and Mental Health: Prevalence and gap Analysis of Treatment Slot Capacity

Published January 2012

On behalf of the New York City Citywide Children’s Committee and NYC Early Childhood Strategic Mental Health Workgroup, CCC sought to estimate the gap between the need for mental health treatment slots and the number of treatment slots available for children throughout New York City.

Our analysis found that there are not enough treatment slots to meet children’s treatment needs in New York City. Through our analysis we found that an estimated 47,407 children ages 0-4 in New York City have a behavioral problem and 268,743 children ages 5-17 in New York City are estimated to have a mental health disorder. While we were unable to identify the citywide unmet need, due to the lack of data for Queens and Manhattan, our analysis of slot capacity for Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island suggests that that there are only treatment slots for 1% of children ages 0-4 and 12% of children ages 5-17 who have treatment needs.

This report recommends that New York State and New York City use our Gap Analysis to:

  1. Establish a process through which the State and City can regularly determine clinic capacity and unmet need for children’s mental health services
  2. Target the expansion and support of mental health services to communities where children are underserved; and
  3. Inform New York State’s implementation of Medicaid reforms, such as health homes and Behavioral Health Organizations (BHOs).
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