History

interior-02Nearly 50 years ago a small group of volunteer provider/representatives founded the NYS Council. The members of the group had been meeting on an ad hoc basic, providing support and information to one another. Shortly after they began convening as a group, the Kennedy Administration put forward and Congress subsequently passed the Community Mental Health Center Act of 1963. It was at this point that the group began working closely with leaders at the New York State Office of Mental Health, assisting the Office with the conceptualization of a network of Community Mental Health Centers to be situated around the state. Shortly thereafter, the group of providers applied for and received a grant from the federal government that permitted them to continue their work as an advisory body to the Office of Mental Health.

In 1989, a group of agency leaders decided to incorporate the organization and form a membership association. They hired a part-time executive director who was responsible for monitoring trends, working cooperatively with the Office of Mental Health and other government agencies, and coordinating regional meetings for members.

Today, the NYS Council is the only statewide membership association focusing specifically on mental health and substance use service issues facing providers who operate these programs in hospitals, counties, and freestanding community agencies. Our organization has more than doubled its membership over the last seven years.  Today, the Council proudly represents nearly 100 organizations situated across New York.

Our office is located in Albany just steps away from the NYS State Capitol, and the Legislative Office Buildings.  In addition to NYS Council staff, we also retain Reid, McNally and Savage, one of Albany’s top government relations firms with an outstanding track record of success in obtaining important policy and programmatic changes to benefit healthcare / behavioral healthcare stakeholders across New York.

For more about us contact Lauri Cole, Executive Director at (518) 461-8200 at your convenience.