New York and the nation continue to battle issues of mental health stigma, including inappropriate connections to violence or the belief people with mental health challenges cannot work. This stigma affects people’s desire to seek services, share their struggles with those who could help, and the policies which govern mental health services. Eliminating this stigma is a critical step to improving mental health and getting more people appropriate, voluntary services. As you file your taxes this year, please consider taking advantage of a New York State program to support anti-stigma work for mental health.
The New York State Mental Illness Anti-Stigma tax check-off program was launched in 2016 and allows NYS taxpayers to easily contribute to and help fund anti-stigma activities across the state when filing their NYS taxes. Contributions to the fund are used by the NYS Office of Mental Health to provide grants to organizations that are focused on educating New Yorkers about mental illness and addressing the stigma often associated with mental illness. Eligible activities include but are not limited to targeted messaging and advertising, production of printed materials, speakers, training, engaging with individuals with lived experience, and multimedia productions.
See the recent NYS Office of Mental health video on the tax checkoff program here: NYS Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Tax Checkoff Program – YouTube