NY announces $9 million program to help agencies recruit, retain mental health staff

Posted 24 November 2022 at 7:54 am

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $9 million in state funding for a loan repayment program to help community mental health agencies recruit and retain psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners.

Administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program will provide loan repayments of up to $120,000 for psychiatrists and $30,000 for psychiatric nurse practitioners, provided they remain employed by licensed community mental health programs for three years.

“Part of the largest ever investment in health care, the Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program will allow us to build a more equitable health care system,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding will provide our partners in communities across the state with the resources they need to attract top-tier workers and then keep them employed in our state, so we can grow our workforce and ensure all New Yorkers have access to the highest quality of care.”

Both newly hired psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners and those existing on staff –including part-time employees – at licensed community mental health programs are eligible to receive repayment awards. Workers awarded funds through the loan repayment program must fulfill a three-year service obligation to their employer and will receive one-third of their total award annually over those three years.

Eligible psychiatrists may receive up to $120,000, while eligible psychiatric nurse practitioners may receive up to $30,000. Providers may apply for loan repayment on behalf of their staff, with applications reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis for as long as funding remains available.

New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “Community-based mental health care providers continue to be impacted by the nationwide shortage of healthcare workers, and the demand for psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners continues to grow. The Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program will help our partners meet this growing demand by helping to attract and retain these essential professionals.”

Inpatient and comprehensive psychiatric emergency programs eligible for the program include licensed providers of Article 28 hospital inpatient psychiatric units, Article 31 freestanding inpatient hospital programs and comprehensive psychiatric emergency programs. Also eligible are licensed Article 31 outpatient programs, including assertive community treatment teams, continuing day treatment, children’s day treatment, partial hospitalization, personalized recover-oriented services, and mental health outpatient treatment and rehabilitative services.

Additional information on OMH’s Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program can be found on the OMH website.