Get Help for Mental Health or Addiction
If you need mental health or an addiction care, there are services available. Providers across New York State are available to give you the care you need. There are also state and federal laws that ensure your access to treatment.
Do You Need Immediate Help?
People often don´t get the mental health or addiction help they need because they don´t know who to call if there is an emergency. A list of emergency resources is listed below. All are toll-free and confidential.
Crisis Text Line:
Text "Got5" to 741741. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
If your life or someone else´s is in critical danger, call 911. If you are in crisis and need help right away, please call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
New York State´s 24/7 problem gambling and chemical dependency hotline
For help and hope at any time, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, call 1-877-8-HOPENY (877-846-7369) or text HOPENY (467369).
Domestic Violence helpline:
Domestic abuse can be physical, emotional, or economic, and include other behaviors. If you are or someone else is being abused by a partner so they can control you, call: 1-800-942-6906.
Are You Looking for Treatment?
If you or someone you know has a mental illness or an addiction, there are services available. These resources can help you find the right treatment for yourself, a friend, or a family member.
Get Mental Health Help:
Get Help for Addiction:
Your Mental Health Matters as Much as Your Physical Health
Mental health parity requires that the health services you get for mental health and addiction be equal to that of health services you get for a physical illness. It is against the law to treat mental health or addiction care differently from other health care.
The federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) and New York State mental health and substance abuse disorder laws, sometimes referred to as “parity laws” require that Medicaid and many health insurance plans generally treat mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits the same as physical health benefits. Below are some examples of things that must be generally the same between mental health and substance use disorder treatment and physical health (such as medical and surgical benefits) treatment:
- Visit limits
- Authorizations for treatments
- Pharmacy benefits
- Options for services and choice of providers
For more information on mental health and substance use disorder treatment parity, please visit:
- NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS): Commercial Insurance Requirements
- NYS Office of Mental Health: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Health Insurance Coverage Parity
- Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA): MHPAEA fact sheet
- NYS report on Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: New York Medicaid Managed Care, Alternative Benefit Plan, and Children´s Health Insurance Program
What You Should Know about Parity for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
- Your health plan should not make treatment for mental health or addiction harder to get than treatment for your physical health needs.
- You may ask your health plan for its analysis of how well they follow parity laws.
- You may ask your health plan for the criteria it uses to make decisions about care.
- You may file a complaint if you feel you were unfairly denied treatment (information below).
How to File a Complaint Against Your Health Plan related to Mental Health and Addiction Treatment?
You can file a complaint with the Department of Health, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) or with an independent Ombudsman Program, depending on the type of health insurance coverage you have.
- If you have a Medicaid Managed Care Plan, call the New York State Department of Health at (800) 597-8481 or email NYSDOH.BCS.Behavioral.Health.Complaints@health.ny.gov
- If you have regular Medicaid, call the Medicaid Helpline at 1-800-541-2831
- If you or your child has Child Health Plus, call (800) 698-4543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you have the Essential Plan, call (855) 355-5777 or email email@example.com
- If you are enrolled in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) through your job or on your own, file a complaint with DFS or call (800) 342-3736
- You can also contact the New York Attorney General Health Care Bureau by filling out the Online Complaint Form or calling 1-800-428-9071.
You can also get support from the Behavioral Health Ombudsman Program
If you are covered by an insurer or HMO or you have Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or Essential Plan, you may also ask for help from New York´s Behavioral Health Ombudsman. The Ombudsman Program can help you with questions, a complaint, or with filing an appeal with your insurer or HMO for denied treatment.
To reach the Ombudsman Program - called the Community Health Access to Addiction & Mental Healthcare Project (CHAMP) Helpline at (888) 614-5400 Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.