Community-based service organizations will receive more than $3.3 million to provide mental health programs for children and families, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Friday announced. 

The money, part of a federal aid package, will benefit programs for young people who are diagnosed with mental illness and a developmental disability or substance use disorder. 

"Access to mental health programs is a critical component of our efforts to ensure New Yorkers receive the care they need for themselves and their loved ones," Hochul said. "Too often, vulnerable populations face barriers in their ability to access mental health services, and these grants will help expand access to statewide programs, helping support more young New Yorkers to properly address their mental health needs." 

The money, made available through the American Rescue Plan Act, is part of an expansion of funds for Medicaid programs. Grants will be heading to 35 community-based non-profit groups in the state, including $1 million for suicide prevention programs, respite programs, family and youth support services and managed care programs. 

The money is coming as the needs of mental health care, especially for younger people, are being pressed for in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"These grants will allow our healthcare providers in communities across the state to enhance and expand the servicesthey provide to vulnerable youth living with mental health challenges, as well as substance use disorders or developmental disabilities," Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said. "By increasing access, engagement and coordination of treatment and services, our community-based partners will be able to effectively serve many more youth and families."