Governor Hochul Meets With High School Students to Discuss Mental Health and Efforts to Address Harmful Impacts of Social Media

Government and Politics

May 24, 2024

From: New York Governor Kathy Hochul

Governor Continues Pushing for Nation-Leading Legislation to Combat Addictive Social Media Feeds and Protect Kids Online in Final Weeks of Legislative Session

Governor Kathy Hochul on May 24th, hosted a roundtable with students from Williamsville East High School in Erie County to discuss the youth mental health crisis and the challenges posed by unhealthy and excessive social media use. The Governor reiterated her commitment to enacting nation-leading legislation addressing online safety and the harmful impacts of social media in the final weeks of the 2024 State Legislative Session.

“I've heard from young people across our state about mental health challenges and the harmful impacts of social media,” Governor Hochul said. “Inaction is not an option – we need to act now to combat addictive social media feeds and protect our kids online.”



The Governor is focused on advancing two pieces of legislation by the end of the Legislative Session in June. The Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act will restrict the addictive features of social media and the New York Child Data Protection Act will restrict the collection of minors’ personal data by online sites.

This commitment is part of the Governor’s broader effort to address the youth mental health crisis and ensure that young people can get the care and resources they need.

“Inaction is not an option – we need to act now to combat addictive social media feeds and protect our kids online.”

Williamsville Central School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Darren J. Brown-Hall said, “I want to thank Gov. Hochul for meeting with students to discuss mental health and social media. I am extremely proud and want to commend our students for being agents of change to not only provide a better future for themselves, but their classmates, and community. The more our students are able to be part of the discussion and advocate, the better.”

Williamsville East High School Senior Aniyah Ramadan said, “I want to thank Gov. Hochul for meeting with students today. I think it’s great that she has prioritized meeting with our generation to learn more about what’s going on with teenagers today, mental health, and social media issues.”

In the FY25 Enacted Budget, Governor Hochul expanded mental health support for children across the state, fulfilling an agenda she outlined in her State of the State address in January. She announced $20 million in start-up funding for school-based mental health clinics and launched a rolling application to simplify the establishment of these clinics compared to the previous state procurement process. This announcement built on the $5.1 million awarded in November to support 137 new school-based clinics, including 82 at high-needs schools, bringing the total number of clinics to more than 1,200 statewide.

Last year, Governor Hochul also conducted a state-wide listening tour with young New Yorkers and hosted the first-ever state Summit on Youth Mental Health. Following the June 2023 summit, the State released a Youth Mental Health Listening Tour Report, which highlighted some of the key themes incorporated in the recommendations provided by more than 200 participants statewide.