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New Student Debt Relief Program Available for Health Professionals

NYC Health + Hospitals offers up to $50,000 in debt relief to behavioral health professionals.

An anonymous $1 million donation has initiated a new student debt relief program for behavioral health providers in NYC.

“This loan forgiveness program will help us attract and retain top talent to continue serving New Yorkers across the city,” said NYC mayor, Eric Adams. Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals announced the new program on July 24.

The program is available to eligible NYC Health + Hospitals employees for the next year or until the $1 million donation has been distributed.

“As we continue to see an increasing number of New Yorkers struggling with mental health and substance use disorder, the essential services of our behavioral health team are needed more than ever,”

said NYC Health + Hospitals president and chief executive officer (CEO), Mitchell Katz.

Through the program, behavioral health professionals will have access to $30 to $50,000 of debt relief in exchange for a three-year commitment to serve the public health system.

“If we want to meet the increased need for mental health services, particularly for underserved communities, we must talk about workforce development,” said Dan Gillison Jr. CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

On average in NYC, early-career psychiatrists hold $190,000 of medical school debt and psychiatric nurse practitioners average approximately $56,000 of debt.

“Loan repayment can help lift the financial burden of mental health professionals, who are already at high risk for burnout, and create more opportunities for people from historically underrepresented communities to join the workforce,” Gillison Jr. continued. “We applaud these efforts to increase the pipeline of practitioners and address the urgent mental health needs our communities are facing."

Applications for the program open on July 25. New Yorkers can also support the efforts of this program by donating directly to NYC Health + Hospitals.

“I’m grateful to the anonymous donor for this generous donation, and I encourage other businesses and individuals to chip in if they are able to support this important cause,” Adams added.

NYC Health + Hospitals’ public hospitals and neighborhood health centers offer a wide variety of mental health services. New Yorkers who need mental health support can call 844-NYC-4NYC for an appointment at NYC Health + Hospitals or contact NYC Well online.

Related: NYC Mayor Appoints New Mental Health Officials