A message from
Congressman Antonio Delgado
SUBJECT: Racism has caused trauma for generations. We’re committed to systemic change.
For hundreds of years, racism has forced People of Color to endure unrelenting trauma.
With every painful personal experience and every public tragedy – like the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others – the trauma builds or is reignited.
We must also recognize that systemic racism and the discrimination experienced throughout one’s life are continuously traumatizing forces – ongoing stressors that cause deepening harm.
Racism’s impact on Black Americans’ mental health cannot be ignored. Effective mental health advocacy must embrace and advance the fight for racial equity and social justice.
As an organization of providers, peers, family members, clinicians, and advocates, the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS) is committed to taking action that addresses inequities in health, education, housing, finances and other human services. We will ensure our work is informed by an understanding that Black lives matter and Black mental health matters. We are determined to do our part to drive systemic change.
Alongside our affiliates, we will listen and empower communities across the state to champion reform. In our work with state and local lawmakers, we will advocate for legislation that supports the mental health and wellness needs of New York’s BIPOC communities.
In this moment, when so many are in pain and experiencing re-traumatization, we need to be there for each other and care for one another’s mental health – because our collective wellness will strengthen our resilience for the work ahead.
Remember that help is available if you, your family, or your friends need it.
The MHA stands for fair treatment and justice for all.
The mission of the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties is to provide education and advocacy and to create opportunities that enhance the mental health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Many years ago the board of directors decided to broaden our mission from working exclusively with people affected by mental illness and emotional trauma, to those in our community that are living on the edge of the dominant society and need some fair chances to lead healthy, productive lives. This must include those in our community who have been most affected by discriminatory public policies. We all want simple acceptance and inclusion in our community.
This is what needs to guide us as we engage in these turbulent times. As an organization we have always believed and fought for inclusivity, equal treatment, and acceptance for all people. We believe in our hearts that this is what strengthens us as a community, a society, a country. We have a history of fighting long and hard against ignorance and bigotry.
We are now being challenged to take these core values and expand them to clearly acknowledge the toll of the hundreds of years of systemic racism that has taken many forms: from brutal forced re-location, to slavery, the breaking up of families; to Jim Crow laws, no right to vote, segregation, discrimination in housing, education, healthcare, and employment; to systemic violence against people of color from many fronts; and in our implicit bias built up over the years of all this being drilled into us and normalized whether we are cognizant of it or not. Through these inexcusable systemic practices we recognize for far too long many of us have been treated as though our lives don't matter. The MHA is compelled to state clearly that we believe that Black lives matter. And we believe the same regarding Indigenous People and People of Color.
It is not possible to continuously see people that look like you being physically brutalized, attacked and harassed over and over again, and have it not negatively affect you emotionally. This persistent toxic stress to one’s psyche takes a tremendous toll, and we know this trauma severely affects one’s emotional and physical well-being. Racism is a public health crisis.
The MHA stands for fair treatment and justice for all. And we take this moment to re-dedicate ourselves to this part of our mission. It is our tradition to respectfully listen to those hurting so we can be part of the healing.
We will keep advocating for what we know is right, even when we get frustrated and tired. It matters how we treat each other. Right still matters. We stand with others who have the same convictions. And at the end of the day what really matters is how we’ve been able to help each other and be responsible citizens. We are in challenging times, but we remain hopeful, and are ready for the work ahead.
When We Normalize Racism And Bigotry, We Do Violence To Our Mental Health
For a very powerful statement from our National Organization, Mental Health America please follow this link.
As a result, we will offer telephonic/telehealth services for the following programs:
Care Coordination / HCBS
MCAT (Mobile Crisis Assessment Team)
Children and Families Services
Child Advocacy Center and REACH will have limited office hours.
Residential Services will continue to operate following guidelines and regulatory waivers issued by Federal and State Governmental Agencies.
For everyone’s protection our buildings are closed to visitors.
MHA has provided resources to help you with your mental health
and wellness during these trying times.
We will get through this and at the end be a stronger community
supporting mental health and wellness for Columbia and Greene Counties.
See our Resources page for more contacts.
MHA COVID-19 Response
MHA is taking steps to assure the health and safety of those we serve and our staff.
Mental Health and Coping During COVID 19
COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) Information and Resources
New York State Department of Health
Fact Sheets from CMS:
(Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
Columbia County Department of Health
Greene County Department of Health
COVID- 19 Information for Providers
Guidance from NYS Office of Mental Health:
For behavioral health providers
Guidance from NYS Department of Health:
For healthcare providers:
Our Mission - The mission of the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties
is to provide education and advocacy, and to enhance the well being
of individuals, families and communities.
Our Vision - The Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties, Inc. will be a community leader in education, prevention, rehabilitation and recovery.
We will ensure inclusion and the fair and equal treatment of people with mental illness.
We will accomplish this through effective, innovative, and collaborative programming provided by a dedicated staff working in a dynamic, responsibly managed, well respected organization.