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December 14, 2017

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Reel Mind Theatre and Film series creates real conversation about mental health - Monroe County

C-PP looks to 'take the lead' on mental health issues - Steuben County

Generation at risk: America's youngest facing mental health crisis

AI Algorithms to Prevent Suicide Gain Traction

A Crisis Line That Calms With Texting and Data

Peer Review Policy Leads to Decrease Use of Atypical Antipsychotics in Children

Temperature, Seasonal Changes Associated With Suicide Attempts in Young People

Childhood maltreatment may lead to nonsuicidal self-injury

Paternal Depression Linked to Risk for Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents

Social-skills Training Improves Negative Symptoms in Psychosis

Monetary Incentives Improve Cessation in Mentally Ill Smokers

Which foods are best for mental well-being? It depends on your age
OPWDD Announces 1115 Waiver Transition Plan Stakeholder Webinars

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities will be hosting webinar sessions to provide stakeholders with an overview of the recently announced 1115 Waiver Transition Plan, which is currently open for public comment prior to its submission to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Transition Plan describes how the services for people with developmental disabilities will move to New York State's 1115 Waiver and the timelines and steps for launching Care Coordination Organization/Health Home Services. 

Each webinar will cover the same material and is designed to assist stakeholders with their review of the Transition Plan. The webinars are open to the public and all interested parties are welcome to participate. To allow for maximum participation, please register for only one webinar at one of the following links: 

Tuesday, December 12 at 9:00 am
Thursday, December 14 at 5:30 pm

To participate in a webinar, you will need to connect to the visual presentation using a computer and the audio presentation by telephone. Unfortunately, software programs on tablets are not compatible with the webinar system.  Questions or concerns regarding the webinars?  Contact


December 15, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

December 18, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

December 19, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

December 20, 1 - 2:15 pm, SAMHSA 

December 20, 1 - 2:20 pm, Judges & Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative

December 21, 2 - 3 pm, MCTAC



Children & Families Committee Meeting
December 19:  11:30 am - 1 pm,  GTM

Directors & Executive Committee Combined Meeting
December 20:  9:30 - 12:30 pm

Office Closed - Christmas
December 25

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
NYS Assembly Holds Hearing on Housing for the Disabled

New York has come a long way in how it cares for its disabled and mentally ill residents and continues to set new national standards in how these people are cared for.
However, these programs are at risk of being cut if something is not done soon to increase funding.

"We can no longer wait. At some point they have to pay attention to us," Toni Lasicki, Director for Association for Community Living, said.

Lasicki says direct care workers still barely make minimum wage, even as some employees at fast food restaurants are earning $15 per hour. The legislature has pledged to raise direct care worker's wages over the next six years, but Lasicki told the Assembly committee six years is too long.

"These jobs require staff to understand mental illness, supervise medications, do crisis counseling; these are anything but minimum wage jobs."  Read more here.
Affordable Housing for People with Disabilities - A Worsening Crisis

The tenth edition of the  Priced Out: The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities report, released this week by TAC and their partners at the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force, once again demonstrates that non-elderly adults with disabilities who rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are among the groups most severely affected by the extreme shortage of affordable rental housing across our nation.

Over the last decade, increased rental demand combined with development primarily at the high end of the market has led to record-low vacancy rates, higher rents, and increased competition for affordable and subsidized housing. This overall market trend is reflected in the ever-worsening affordability gap for extremely low-income renters with disabilities. 

Supplemental Security Income is the federal income maintenance program that assists people with significant and long-term disabilities who have virtually no assets and - in most instances - no other source of income. The national average rent for a studio/efficiency unit in 2016 was $752, equal to 99% of a monthly SSI payment. In thirteen states and the District of Columbia, areas with the highest housing costs in the nation, the average studio/efficiency rent exceeded 100% of the income of an SSI recipient.  Read more here.
Targeting an Epidemic: Opioid Prescribing Patterns by County in New York State

Opioid abuse is a public health crisis for the nation and New York State. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of deaths across New York State resulting from prescription opioids alone nearly doubled. In 2015, prescription opioids factored into approximately half of all drug-related deaths and about two-thirds of all opioid-related deaths.

This data snapshot looks at opioid prescribing trends by county in New York State from 2010 to 2015, using publically available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most research on the opioid epidemic has focused on state-level data, which masks important differences between smaller geographic areas.  Read more here.
MHW:  Study Finds Higher MH Readmission Rates for Children

Readmission rates were higher for children after mental health admissions than after non-mental health admissions, according to researchers at Boston's Children's Hospital in the first large cohort study focusing on pediatric mental health patients. The study was published Nov. 29 in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This is the first study involving pediatric readmission to be conducted on this scale, said Sara L. Toomey, M.D., MPhil, MPH, MSc, director of the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children's Hospital, chief experience officer, Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Smaller studies have focused on one hospital or one health system; however, the current study is the first to examine this question from a multistate perspective, Toomey, study co-author, told MHW.

Reducing readmissions is a major health care system goal, researchers noted. "There is a gap in our understanding of pediatric readmission patterns after mental health admissions," they wrote. With this study, researchers aimed to characterize the prevalence of readmissions after mental health admissions, to identify patient-level factors and costs associated with readmissions, and to assess variation in readmission rates across hospitals.  Read more here.
Monica Oss:  The Change Iceberg

Keeping pace with the changing health and human service market is a bit like an iceberg. That was my conclusion from The 2018 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute session, Preparing For The Future In An Uncertain Market, led by Matthew Dorman, Chief Executive Officer, Credible Behavioral Health Software and Joseph Naughton-Travers, Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS. The session outlined the big drivers of change in the field and the need for organizations (of all types) to change-by assessing the market, setting goals, obsessing on key performance drivers, measuring progress, and using metrics to adjust the strategic course of the organization. Like an iceberg, that visible change is only about 10% of the organizational change that is underway.

Ninety percent of the health and human services "change iceberg" is below the surface, so to speak. Organizations need to re-position for integration, value-based reimbursement, consumer sovereignty, and community-based service delivery. To be successful with that re-positioning, executives need new tools, including a new range of data management tools. Many executives teams are leveraging their investment in electronic health records (EHR) to meet some of these new data tool requirements, and to stay ahead of the competition - including enhanced consumer portals, expanding their specialty EHRs to manage medical homes and primary care, and adding business intelligence capabilities and mobile record-keeping capabilities.  Read more here.
PWC:  Top Health Industry Issues of 2018

PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) Health Research Institute expects "persistent risks and uncertainties" to impact healthcare in 2018, ranging from policy changes under the Trump administration to how artificial intelligence (AI) will change workflows, according to PwC's annual industry  issues report.

Several of PwC's  2017 predictions were on point, as the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dominated discussions throughout industry, while rising pharmaceutical prices and increasing consolidation remained major concerns. In 2018, the 12 included issues are broadly organized into three categories: opportunities for cross-sector collaboration, strategic investments and creating efficiencies.

"In the face of an unsettled environment, the health industry could come out the other side of 2018 stronger and more creative, helping solve some of the nation's most pressing health issues and becoming more engaged with their patients and consumers than before," the report said.  Read more here.
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.