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September 6, 2018

Advancing Public Policies for People with Mental Illness, Chemical Dependency or Developmental Disabilities   

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

New York State struggling to find school counselors - Monroe County

FDA Commissioner Previews Forthcoming Opioid Guidance

As part of the agency's opioid crisis response, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has announced plans to withdraw the FDA's existing 2014 guidance on developing new pain relieving drugs. In its place, the agency plans to release at least four "more focused" guidance documents over the next six to twelve months. The new guidance will address: 1) drugs that can be used in the place of opioids; 2) an updated framework for evaluating abuse risks for opioids; 3) a path for developing extended-release local anesthetics; and 4) the development of new non-opioid medications for chronic pain. Read more here.

Early Screening, ID Cards are Big Win to Autism Community

Advocates are cheering two long-awaited bills that were signed into law last week mandating early screening of children for autism and creating standardized ID cards for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The first bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Sen. Robert Ortt, helps fill a gap in current practices. Autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 59 children, but most are not diagnosed until age 3 or later due to a lack of consistent screening practices at pediatric offices nationwide.

The bill, passed in June and signed by the governor last week, mandates screening at both those age milestones, bringing New York in line with national recommendations. Read more here.
PODCAST: Strategies For Effective Peer Supervision

This podcast explores how The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc. restructured their peer supervision program by centering their supervision model on strength-based principles to better address the needs of their peer staff and supervisors. The Council - a prevention, education, intervention, and recovery support organization - provides services to help reduce the impact of addiction and support individuals with mental health conditions and other related issues through their wellness journey. 

This podcast is intended for health plans, health systems, providers, peer support specialists, community-based organizations, and state and federal organizations who provide care to and support dually eligible beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions. 
Click here to access the podcast.

September 6, 2 - 3:30 pm, Resources for Integrated Care

September 10, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

September 10, 2 - 3:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Best Practices for Serving and Supporting Transgender Patients in Integrated Care Settings: Perspectives from the Nation's Largest Medical System
September 11, 3 - 4 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

Myths, Realities, & Best Practices for Psychiatrists Treating Justice-Involved Populations in Community Care
September 12, 11 am - 1 pm, SAMHSA

How do you help an organization become more Family-Driven?
September 12, 12 - 1 pm, CTAC/MCTAC

Tracking Telehealth Reimbursement Trends
September 13, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Cultural Competence in Psychiatry
September 13, 4 - 5:30 pm, NAMI
Utilization Management for Children and Family Treatment and Support Services
September 18, 10 - 11 am, CTAC/MCTAC

Advancing Value-Based Payment in Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Opportunities for Community-Based Care
September 18, 1:30 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

September 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

The College Years: How Students with Lived Experience Navigate Academics and Mental Health Management
October 10, 11 am - 12 pm, Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research

innovaTel Telepsychiatry: Back to School: Helping Children and Parents
October 17, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health



AOT Coordinators Meeting
September 13: 10 - 11:30 am, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
September 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
September 18: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

Fall Full Membership Meeting
September 24 - 25, Rochester

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Governor Announces $25.2 Million in Federal Funding to Address Opioid Crisis in New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the distribution of $25.2 million dollars in federal funding through the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, which will expand critical initiatives to combat the opioid crisis. In the second year New York State has been awarded this grant, nineteen additional counties have been selected to receive funding. Funding will be distributed to programs that offer prevention, treatment, and recovery services in high-need areas across the state to increase access to treatment, and reduce unmet need and overdose-related deaths.

Funding for the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Last year, 16 counties were recipients of the grant funding. This year, 19 additional counties have been identified as having high needs, for a total of 35 counties being supported through the second year of the grant. New counties to receive funding were designated as having high needs based on the number of opioid overdose deaths, hospitalizations involving opioids and residents leaving the county to access addiction treatment services.

The 19 counties awarded funding through the second year of the grant are: Suffolk, Broome, Oneida, Orange, Bronx, Cortland, Schenectady, Monroe, Richmond, Genesee, Nassau, Columbia, Kings, Herkimer, New York, Otsego, Dutchess, Queens, and Wayne. These counties will share more than $15 million to increase access to treatment through initiatives that include expanded mobile treatment, telepractice and peer services. Read more here.
State to Provide $1M for Detox Beds in Monroe County

A $1 million state grant will mean 15 more detox beds in Monroe County, hopefully by the end of this year.  

The money will be used as part of an existing contract with Helio Health to expand short-term inpatient detox at 1350 University Ave.

Helio Health, formerly Syracuse Behavioral Health, will be renovating space adjacent to its current facility. The work is expected to be done by December, according to David Putney, director of Community Services for Monroe County. The department covers mental health, substance use and developmental disabilities.

The money from the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services was announced last week by County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. Of the grant, $564,374 is for start-up costs for Helio Health's medically supervised withdrawal inpatient services. An additional $450,000 will fund operational costs. 

Putney said the grant for the beds at Helio Health has been in the works for some time, has been following a process and was not a response to community advocates. Read more here.
Comment Period Announced for OPWDD Managed Care Qualification Document

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) will be seeking applications from qualified parties interested in becoming a Specialized I/DD Plan - Provider Led (SIP-PL) to serve individuals with Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) through managed care in accordance with the State's transition plan. The transition plan is also available here.
As a first step in the Application process, the State is releasing for stakeholder review and comment a draft version of the New York State Medicaid Managed Care Organization I/DD System Transformation Requirements and Standards to Serve Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities in Specialized I/DD Plans - Provider Led (SIPs-PL).
Comments on the draft requirements and standards document are due on or before October 3, 2018.  Comments may be submitted electronically to

Related:  Commissioner Delaney Announces Public Comment Period for Managed Care Qualification Document
State Opens Mental Health Resource and Training Center as School Year Begins
School Mental Health Resource and Training Center
The Mental Health Association of New York State has launched the School Mental Health Resource & Training Center to assist all New York State public and private schools with implementing a new state law that requires mental health education in all classrooms from kindergarten through 12th grade, the MHANYS announced Wednesday.

Officials from the School Mental Health Resource & Training Center said it will work with school districts to provide assistance and guidance online or by phone. The Center will put on webinars as well as in-person training in mental health education.

The center's website can be found  here.
School districts and educators can also contact the Center by phone at (518) 434-0439 from Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
Peer-Staffed Crisis Respite Program Effective Alternative to Hospitalization

The implementation of peer-staffed crisis respite services to divert individuals from hospitalization can achieve savings in Medicaid expenditures and reduce reliance on hospital services, according to new research published online in Psychological Services in Advance.
The study, "The Effectiveness of a Peer-Staffed Crisis Respite Program as an Alternative to Hospitalization," examined whether peer-staffed crisis respite centers implemented in New York City in 2013 helped to reduce emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalization and Medicaid expenditures for Medicaid beneficiaries.
The environment and services offered in peer-staffed crisis respites are distinct from ED and hospital care. Unlike locked units of hospitals, crisis respites offer a voluntary, safe and homelike environment where trained peer staff provide 24-hour support to individuals experiencing psychiatric crises, researchers stated. Read more here.
CHCS Brief: Serving Adults with Serious Mental Illness in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly: Promising Practices

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organizations now serve a greater number of older adults with serious mental illness (SMI) than ever before, and increasingly include behavioral health providers in their care teams to meet the complex needs of this population.

This brief, supported by the West Health Policy Center, highlights promising practices for assessment, care planning, and care coordination for older adults with SMI drawn from PACE programs, Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans, and Medicaid plans. These approaches may be helpful for PACE programs seeking to improve or expand the delivery of behavioral health services for older adults with SMI.
NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) Announces Three New Funding Opportunities

Social Opportunities Initiative
DDPC announces the availability of one (1) grant up to $750,000 ($250,000 per year, for three years) to develop, pilot, and evaluate a mini-grant program model which supports community based social opportunities for people with intellectual, developmental (ID/DD) and other disabilities living in rural and urban communities with high rates of poverty and disparate access to social opportunities and other community resources.  Read more
Rural CCO Peer-Led Outreach and Community Mapping
DDPC announces the availability of one (1) grant o fund one grantee up to $300,000 ($100,000 per year, for three years) to conduct peer-led outreach, community mapping, and coalition building within OPWDD Region 2 that will inform the development of Administrative Directive Memorandum, policies, practices, and tools to improve service delivery and access to information for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) living in rural communities.  Read more
Court Personnel Training
DDPC announces the availability of one (1) grant to fund one grantee up to $300,000 ($100,000 per year for 3 years) to create, pilot, and evaluate customizable training for Judges, attorneys, court officers, court clerks, and other non-judicial staff and legal system professionals about intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and factors leading to involvement in the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems to increase staff knowledge to more effectively respond to the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
The Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors advances public policies and awareness for people with mental illness, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities.  We are a statewide membership organization that consists of the Commissioner/ Director of each of the state's 57 county mental hygiene departments and the mental hygiene department of the City of New York.