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November 30, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Regional Planning Consortium Update
Fourth Qu arter RPC Board Meetings are taking place over coming  weeks. To find the RPC board meeting occurring in your region, click  here .

For more information about RPCs and how you can get involved, visit www.clmhd.or/RPC.  
Post-traumatic stress program receives national recognition - Jefferson County

Opioid crisis drives high need for foster families in Northern NY

RWJ Foundation Selects Citizen Advocates for research team - Franklin County

De Blasio commits $8M to address opioid epidemic in the Bronx - NYC

H+H opens its first clinic in a homeless shelter - NYC

Ithaca community still grappling with opioid epidemic - Tompkins County

[Oneida] County prepares foster-care sites for Raise the Age-affected youth

State of Mind: Syracuse has one of the highest rates of poor mental health in New York State - Onondaga County

Mental health services face reassessment - Steuben County

Pittsford apartments will help people with developmental disabilities learn independence - Monroe County

Monroe County court system to offer help for defendants at high risk of OD

Families and agencies say there is a crisis in care for early intervention services in Monroe Co.

More than a number: How UB responds to mental health emergencies, concerns on campus - Erie County
Wayne County Dealing With the Opioid Crisis

He came from a loving family.  In his late 20s he had a 10 year-old son, and the young man died from a drug overdose in the Town of Ontario. Days later in the Town of Walworth a 29 year-old man was arrested for Endangering the Welfare of a Child after overdosing in front of  an 11 year-old girl.

Police in Geneva report finding a man slumped over on a toilet, dead.

"They're everybody - kids from affluent families, people in their 60s, in their 20s, it's all over the board," said Wayne County Mental Health Director James (Jim) Haitz.

In 2017 there were six deaths in Wayne County due to opioid overdoses, 52 opioid overdoses reported at area emergency departments and 18 hospitalizations. Those are only the reported ones - and the rates are increasing for 2018.  Read more here .
Medical marijuana could soon be covered by New York health insurance

Rhode Island Prisons Push To Get Inmates The Best Treatment For Opioid Addiction

Mental Health Therapy at Walmart? It's Now a Thing

When Mental-Health Experts, Not Police, Are the First Responders

Drug overdoses and suicides fuel drop in U.S. life expectancy

Another Drug Crisis: Methamphetamine Use By Pregnant Women

Pharmacists have been called on to make naloxone widely available. But do they know how to use it?

The for-profit company that turned around Maine's failing addiction treatment initiative

We Need to Change the Trajectory of Mental Health Research

Vets with Multiple Brain Injuries May Be at Greater Risk of Suicide

Facebook Increasingly Reliant on A.I. To Predict Suicide Risk

Team-based Care Optimizes Medication Treatment for First Episode Psychosis

Autism prevalence now 1 in 40 US kids, study estimates

Why Are There So Few Autism Specialists?
State Homeless Population Said to be Larger than Population in All But Two New York Cities

Next stop, the third largest city in the state: Homelessville, N.Y.

Alarming new data compiled by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and the Coalition for the Homeless found that 254,866 New Yorkers were homeless at some point over the past year, a number exceeding the population of every community statewide except New York City and Buffalo.

Even worse, roughly three out of every five homeless New Yorkers were of school age - up a staggering 68% since 2011, the numbers indicate.

According to the data provided by the coalition and Hevesi, 129,803 men, women and children were in the New York City shelter system at some point in 2017-18.

There were also 76,836 homeless students in New York City who are not in shelters, including those who live in housing belonging to someone else. Another 38,180 students are homeless in other parts of the state. Read more here.


December 5, 11 am - 12 pm, MCTAC/CTAC

December 6, 12 - 1 pm, HANYS

December 6, 2 - 3:15 pm, National Association of Counties

December 6, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

December 10, 3 - 4:30 pm, Safety and Justice Challenge

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
December 11, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

December 11, 4 - 5 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Understanding Data and Business Intelligence Dashboards in Children's Behavioral Health
December 12, 12 - 1 pm, CCSI

Information Sharing During the Opioid Crisis: Challenges and Solutions
December 12, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Reducing Recidivism for People with Mental Illnesses in Jails
December 12, 2 - 3:15 pm, Stepping Up

December 12, 3 - 4:30 pm,  NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
December 13, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

December 13, 12 - 1 pm, HANYS

December 20, 3 - 4 pm, OMH



Executive Committee Call
December 5:  8 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
December 14, 1 - 3 pm - IN PERSON
1450 Western Ave. 4th Floor, Albany (WebEx info available)

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

CLMHD Office Closed - Christmas
December 25

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
The Prospect of CMS Paying for Housing Attracts Attention, Advice and Questions

The surprise announcement by HHS Secretary Alex Azar that the CMS was interested in paying for housing and other social services caught the industry's attention, prompting a slew of opinions on how that would work. 

High on the list of suggestions among industry stakeholders is a warning for the CMS to keep in mind community organizations and other federal agencies as it considers any new payment models in which housing and other social services are paid for. 

Azar unveiled the possibility in a speech in which he remarked that the agency has a responsibility to address patients' social needs and that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is working on a pilot model.

Healthcare organizations overwhelmingly welcomed the news as most recognize that being able to address patients' social needs is going to be critical as they are paid more for outcomes and less for direct medical services. There currently isn't a direct reimbursement mechanism to support such investments, so health systems largely use their own pocketbooks, which is unsustainable long-term. Read more here.
New Approaches to Modernizing Mental Health Care in Suffolk County

The way in which people with mental illnesses are treated in the United States has changed dramatically since patients were shuffled off to insane asylums to spend the rest of their days, but many of those changes have left people who do need treatment in the lurch, with no professionals to turn to and no continuum of care.

Local mental health providers are beginning to change this trend, with Family Service League planning to open a new 24/7 crisis stabilization center in Hauppauge in the new year, a focus in the importance of peer interaction for people who are struggling with an acute mental health crisis, and with changes in thinking in health care that take a more holistic approach to human experience.

Psychiatrists, social workers and mental health center directors shared their thoughts on these new programs and ideas with the community in a forum on "Mental Health Matters" sponsored by the East End Mental Health Awareness Initiative and the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital's Parrish Memorial Hall Nov. 19. Read more here.
Police in Livingston County Now Able to Call Mental Health Experts Directly to Scenes 

A new mobile response team is bringing mental health experts directly to the people who are having mental health breakdowns. 

Instead of some of those folks ending up behind bars, sheriff's deputies in Livingston County are calling therapists directly to get them help.  

When it comes to police work, you don't know what each call will bring. 

Lately, in Livingston County, deputies have spent hours waiting out emotionally unstable suspects at stand-offs and suicide attempts.

"The police officers are really asked to wear a lot of hats. They're supposed to get on the scene and quickly assess the mental health status of someone," says Michele Anuszkiewicz, Livingston County director of mental health.

That's why the sheriff's office and other local departments in Livingston County are grateful for a new partnership that brings mental health experts right to the scene. Read more here.
DiNapoli Says State Opioid Treatment Programs Need Better Coordination

Some individuals on Medicaid receiving treatment for opioid use disorder might have received unnecessary or dangerous opioid prescriptions outside of their treatment programs, according to an  audit issued by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Auditors found treatment programs were not checking whether patients were getting other opioid prescriptions or coordinating care with health care providers.

This audit is part of a broader initiative by the State Comptroller's office to look at opioid use across New York state. Auditors, in a series of reports, will be looking to identify at-risk patient/provider behavior and gaps in the effectiveness of government programs.

"New York and the rest of the country are facing an opioid addiction epidemic, and people's lives are at stake," DiNapoli said. "Programs designed to get individuals off highly addictive opioids can only be effective with proper vigilance. The state Department of Health should take steps to help treatment programs and health care providers work together to prevent overdoses that could lead to hospitalizations or death." Read more here.
NYS Ride-Sharing Sessions Look to Improve Services for Disabled Customers

Public listening sessions are being held over the next few weeks to study accessible ride sharing services for customers with disabilities. The New York State Transportation Company Accessibility Task Force was created as part of the legislation that made ride-sharing legal in Upstate New York. WBFO's Nick Lippa reports on some of the issues facing riders.

The first and only listening session in Western New York was held Tuesday in Buffalo. They plan to hold four more in Syracuse, White Plains, Albany, and Greenlawn.

Betty DeFazio is the co-chair of the Accessibility Task Force and spent two hours listening to the current concerns of disabled riders.   "From the remarks, we'll be creating a report and providing that to Governor Cuomo and the legislature so that they can begin to address some of the needs." 

So what are some of the needs from this first session?  Read more here .
Overshadowed By Opioids, Meth Is Back And Hospitalizations Surge

The number of people hospitalized because of amphetamine use is skyrocketing in the United States, but the resurgence of the drug largely has been overshadowed by the nation's intense focus on opioids.

Amphetamine-related hospitalizations jumped by about 245 percent from 2008 to 2015, according to a recent  study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That dwarfs the rise in hospitalizations from other drugs, such as opioids, which were up by about 46 percent. The most significant increases were in Western states.

The surge in hospitalizations and deaths due to amphetamines "is just totally off the radar," said Jane Maxwell, an addiction researcher. "Nobody is paying attention."
Doctors see evidence of the drug's comeback in emergency departments, where patients arrive agitated, paranoid and aggressive. Read more here.
This City's Overdose Deaths Have Plunged. Can Others Learn From It? 

DAYTON, Ohio - Dr. Randy Marriott clicked open the daily report he gets on drug overdoses in the county. Only one in the last 24 hours - stunningly low compared to the long lists he used to scroll through last year in a grim morning routine.

"They just began to abruptly drop off," said Dr. Marriott, who oversees the handoff of patients from local rescue squads to Premier Health, the region's biggest hospital system.

Overdose deaths in Montgomery County, anchored by Dayton, have plunged this year, after a stretch so bad that the coroner's office kept running out of space and having to rent refrigerated trailers. The county had 548 overdose deaths by Nov. 30 last year; so far this year there have been 250 , a 54 percent decline.

Dayton, a hollowed-out manufacturing center at the juncture of two major interstates, had one of the highest opioid overdose death rates in the nation in 2017 and the worst in Ohio . Now, it may be at the leading edge of a waning phase of an epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the United States over the last decade, including nearly 50,000 last year . Read more here.
'Rapid Access' Might Just Be Your Next Health Plan Conversation

The time that consumers are waiting for health care services appears to be getting longer. The average wait time for consumers seeking a new appointment with a physician increased 30% (24.1 days) since 2014. For mental health services this wait time can be up to 25 days. Thirty-eight percent of consumers have had to wait longer than one week for mental health services.

And a survey out of Massachusetts found that on average, provider organizations there reported seeing 81% percent of new consumers within two weeks of first contact, 93% within one month, 7% in five weeks more. For 3% of new consumers, access took over eight weeks.

Once consumers have an appointment, the on-time performance of most health care systems for those appointments isn't great. These wait times in-office vary widely, with the average wait time for consumers to see their doctor at about 18 minutes. Patient Engagement HIT reports that the average in-office wait times for an appointment at a hospital range from 13 to 29 minutes-with 30% of consumers reporting that they had left the appointment because the wait was too long. 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.