Our Research

Our Research

Project Access

A Study about Access to Mental Health/Addictions Care
A project of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center December 2017

Access Delayed is Access Denied
Project Access is Supported by the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund of the Long Island Community Foundation

Media Coverage of Project Access


Letter: Mental illness patients discriminated against

Times Union, March 22, 2018, Letter from Andrew Malekoff Although our children's safety is paramount ("School safety debate evokes Albany deja vu," March 7), in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, we must understand that it is incredibly rare for people living...

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Senators query DFS head on mental health coverage

Say options are inadequate in the face of higher rates of depression and anxiety   By Timothy Denton In the wake of the Parkland, Fla., shootings, state senators Elaine Phillips, Republican of Floral Park, and Todd Kaminsky, Democrat of Rockville Centre, have renewed...

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PBS’s MetroFocus Television Program News

15 February, 2018 . PBS’s MetroFocus Television Program News-On the Front Line Guidance Center interviewed about the fight for timely and affordable access for mental health and addictions care Watch The Video Here

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The fight for parity

  By: Adina Genn, Long Island Business News,  February 2, 2018 On Long Island, a mother with “Cadillac level” medical benefits struggled to get her child counseling when all of the professionals she called on the North Shore said they don’t take insurance. A...

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Contact Your Representatives and Share Your Story

Mail a Letter (see suggested language):

The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Phone: 518-474-8390
Email: Press.Office@exec.ny.gov

On the web: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
To find out who your local representatives are, visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Click Here to Share Your Story with Governor Hochul (suggested language included)

Click Here To Share Your Story With North Shore Family Guidance Center

Suggested Language

Dear Governor Hochul:

I am writing to you to express my support for an investigation of health insurance companies by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), which is responsible for assuring that people in need of mental health or addictions care have timely, affordable access to these services.

As the Project Access study of almost 650 Long Islanders found, insurance companies and government are not living up to their responsibility to provide people with mental health and addictions care in a timely fashion. 

Even when an insurance company has many providers listed on their behavioral health plans, they often no longer accept the insurance and want cash only, making it unaffordable, or they have months-long waiting lists.

Health insurers are discriminating against people living with mental illness and addiction. This is a violation of civil rights and federal parity law, which government regulators then fail to enforce, as is their statutory responsibility.

In New York, the DFS is charged with enforcement. I urge you to authorize, and DFS Commissioner Mary Vullo to implement, a full-scale investigation into network adequacy during this, the 10-year anniversary of the bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

I stand with North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, State Senators Todd Kaminsky and Elaine Phillips and Assemblyman Chuck Lavine in demanding a thorough investigation of insurance companies as it relates to the issue of network adequacy. 

Commissioner Vullo agrees. In a Senate Health/Medicaid budget hearing on February 12, 2018, when Senator Kaminsky addressed this matter with her, she responded: “I agree with you that this is something we need to do more on, and we will.”


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