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In Cortland visit, Schumer pushes for funding to expand mental-health treatment

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) recently spoke in Cortland, telling local leaders that he’s pushing for an additional $3 million in federal funding to help expand the Cortland County mental-health department. The funding would help renovate a building in downtown Cortland to serve as a treatment facility for those with mental-health problems. (Photo credit: Office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) has told leaders in Cortland that he’s working to approve additional federal funding to expand Cortland County’s mental-health department.

Schumer had worked to secure millions to renovate a vacant building in downtown Cortland into a new mental-health facility.

Nearly $5 million in federal funding will help expand and “nearly double the size” of Cortland County’s mental-health department and significantly improve its services, Schumer’s office said.


The Democrat explained he has already helped deliver the first $2 million through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA. However, the remaining $2,995,000 is “stuck in limbo” and needs approval in the end-of-year omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2023 (FY23).

“Cortland County needs and deserves a modern mental-health care facility. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, rural communities were already struggling to meet mental-health needs and those needs have only increased,” Schumer said. “That is why I fought for historic funding increases to mental-health programs in the COVID relief legislation and made sure the local aid places like Cortland County received was flexible so that they could invest in the long-term health of their communities. Now, Congress needs to pass the final piece of the puzzle and deliver the last $3 million so that Cortland County can transform this vacant building into the state-of-the-art mental health center Central New York’s rural residents deserve.”

Cortland County’s mental-health department is currently housed in a “severely outdated” building, per Schumer’s office. It lacks both modern necessities like sufficient broadband access for telehealth services, critical disability accommodations, and the physical space to provide residents the number of programs they need.

Cortland County already has over a thousand patients enrolled in its mental-health care programs, a figure that continues to rise with an estimated 8 percent increase next year alone, Schumer’s office said. For example, Cortland County’s clinic program has had a record 30-year high for total sessions in August 2022 at nearly 1,734 total sessions for 850 patients in a single month.


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