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December 6, 2019

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Tool helps officials keep track of overdose deaths - Jefferson

Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition hosts forum as part of effort to prevent suicide

Covenant House seeks to expand mental health services - NYC

New York City Council Pushes De Blasio Admin: What's the Plan for Troubled Youth Detention Centers?

Report finds NYPD often uses Tasers on people with mental health issues - NYC

Heroin use jumps 33% among NYC teens: Health Department

NYC Mayor Announces Partnership With NYPL Connecting Library Patrons To Mental Health Resources

County restructures Opioid Task Force - Oneida

Onondaga County veterans' court pushes rehabilitation over jail

Arc of Seneca Cayuga to merge with Arc of Yates as new organization

Yates part of national opioid study
Yates Part of National Opioid Study

It is no secret that Yates County is one of the hardest-hit areas in the state when it comes to drug addiction and overdose deaths.

That's one reason why the small county, with a population of slightly more than 25,000, could become a national model in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Yates is one of 16 counties in the state to get HEALing Communities funds as part of a research project through Columbia University. A team from Columbia's School of Social Work will meet with community members, including the Yates County Substance Abuse Coalition, on Dec. 11 to discuss the study and funding.

George Roets"For a small county, we got hit really hard by the opioid epidemic," said George Roets, the county's director of community services and a coalition member, noting Yates County has been ranked second in the state for overdose deaths per 100,000 population. "We are not happy about that number, but we are certainly happy with an opportunity to address it." Read more here.
Brooks-TLC Hospital System to Close Irving facility - Chautauqua

The Brooks-TLC Hospital System has decided to close the TLC/Lakeshore Health Center campus in Irving.

This change, which the hospital system says is being done to maintain sustainability, impacts all services at the TLC campus, including outpatient and support services,  inpatient behavioral health services and chemical dependency services. It will take effect at the start of 2020, pending patient transfers.

"Despite efforts to reduce expenses and maintain hospital services, the losses being incurred at the TLC Campus continue to rise. Simply put, patient volume is too low to maintain services and cover the cost of operating the campus," said Christopher Lanski, chair of the Brooks-TLC Hospital System Board of Directors. Read more here.

Additional article of interest:  County, state officials respond to closing

How hospital design supports children, young people and their families

How to reduce suicides on the psychiatric ward

Despite Crackdown, Patient Brokers Continue Exploiting Addicts

A year after New York State made it illegal to financially benefit from referring patients to addiction treatment programs, so-called "patient brokers" have found new ways of targeting desperate customers.

Several years ago, "body brokers" began targeting support groups directly; they were spotted in 12-step meetings for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. Then they made a big splash on social media, where they could reach tenfold more people who are desperately seeking help.

"What's dangerous is the patient is not comprehensively assessed and placed in a program most suited to meet their needs," says Claudia Ragni, a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor who owns Kenneth Peters Center for Recovery in Syosset and is spearheading a crusade to educate parents and officials on spotting these brokers.

She says that brokers have been paid to bring presentations to Long Island public schools, trolling for customers. Read more here.

Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-Involved Individuals: Expanding Access to Mental and Substance Use Disorder Treatment
December 11, 1 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
December 12, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Making Health Care Transition Work for Youth with Autism: Youth and Parent Perspectives and National Resources
December 13, 2 - 3 pm, National Institute of Mental Health

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
December 18, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Health Plan Innovations in Population Health Management for Complex Consumers
December 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Showcase Webinar: Care Transitions Network's Four Years of Implementation and Learning
December 18, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Successful Treatment of Methamphetamine Addiction
December 18, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Working with People Who Have Developmental Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System-Access and Communication
December 19, 2 - 3 pm, CSG Justice Center

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
December 19, 2:30 - 4 pm, OMH



Children & Families Committee Meeting
December 17: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Office Closed - Christmas
December 25

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Stony Brook Medicine Celebrates Opening of New Behavioral Health Facility - Suffolk
Ribbon cutting lineup final
On November 20, Stony Brook Medicine commemorated the opening of its new adult behavioral health facility, Quannacut Outpatient Services, at 905 East Main Street in Riverhead with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours.

"Quannacut," the Native American word for "hope" or "rainbow," defines the facility's culture and mission in addressing addiction as a treatable disease. The project supports a transformational change within the healthcare system and increases access in services for "at risk" populations across Eastern Long Island.

At the forefront of modern treatment for substance use disorders, Quannacut is uniquely equipped to provide patients 18 years of age and above with all outpatient care in one location. From in-depth intake evaluations to short- and long-term follow-up care plans, it provides access to world-class substance use treatment. The program uses a medical, psycho-therapeutic approach to patient care, specializing in co-occurring disorders. Read more here.
Stopping New Yorkers From Falling Through the Cracks

New York City is making monumental progress on criminal justice reform - but our efforts must go further than just reducing the number of people in our jails. We are, as a city, fundamentally rethinking how we treat people in our facilities - especially those with serious health needs. We are working to reduce the number of people with serious health needs from entering our facilities in the first place by investing heavily in resources like supportive and transitional housing, mental health crisis and response times, and improving access to health care through a program called NYC Care.

New York City is announcing a unique and innovative model of care for patients in custody whose clinical conditions do not require hospitalization but need frequent monitoring and access to specialty and subspecialty care. The new Outposted Therapeutic Housing Units will be managed by the NYC Health + Hospitals Correctional Health Services and offer a more normalized environment to help healing and recovery, and better position patients for discharge. Read more here.
H+H Shifting Substance-Use Care to Outpatient Model

NYC Health + Hospitals said it is closing its inpatient detox units at seven hospitals across the city and devoting more resources to outpatient substance-use services as part of a change in the way it treats addiction. 

Patients with substance-use disorders often enter the hospital through the system's emergency department. Instead of admitting patients to a dedicated detox unit, H+H has begun treating patients within a hospital's department of medicine. Bellevue and other hospitals have created addiction consult teams that can recommend a patient undergo medical stabilization while detoxing. 

Dr. Charles Barron, the system's deputy chief medical officer for behavioral health, said the change was driven by evidence showing patients can be more effectively treated through ongoing treatment outside of hospitals.  Read more here .
FLACRA's New 'Connections: Rounded Recovery' Center Opens
Image result for FLACRA new 'Connections: Rounded Recovery' center opens
Finger Lakes Area Counseling & Recovery Agency's newest center opened to much fanfare Tuesday morning, with law enforcement, public health officials and government representatives all coming out to attend.

Called Connections: Rounded Recovery, the center - open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day - features a variety of nonclinical services for those in addiction recovery. Services can include health and wellness classes including yoga or reiki, support groups and classes designed to teach life skills, according to the center's website.

The grand-opening ceremony began with remarks from Jennifer Carlson, deputy executive director of FLACRA.
Carlson thanked a number of individuals, stating how "it really takes every single person here" to make the Connections a reality. Read more here.
Study: Mental Health a Funding Priority for NY Schools

School districts across New York are struggling to provide students with mental health services as suicide rates continue to climb across the country, a new study released last week found.

The annual Financial Matters survey released by the state's Council of School Superintendents found that 67% of superintendents identified improving mental health services in their districts as a top three funding priority moving forward.

The findings are consistent with a study released last year by the state's School Boards Association which found 66% of superintendents believed they did not have the capacity to meet the mental health needs of students in their districts.

Providing mental health resources has become a priority for school districts across the country as teenage suicide rates have continued to increase in recent years. Read more here.
New York to Expand Syringe Exchange Programs Into Rural Areas

New York has quietly established a program that expands access to clean syringes in far-flung areas of the state as health officials work to reduce overdose deaths and control the spread of infection and disease among injection drug users.

The program, known as Secondary Syringe Exchange, is similar to the state's decades-old syringe exchange program (SEP), but it would target hard-to-reach, rural areas and individuals who may not wish to buy clean syringes at authorized pharmacies due to stigma or cost.

At secondary exchange sites, drug users could exchange used needles for clean ones and receive other supplies that encourage hygienic drug use such as sharps containers, alcohol pads and non-latex gloves. Trained staff would also educate the user on overdose prevention and hygienic injection practices. Read more here.
The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Announces New Campaign to Raise Awareness of Addiction Services Available in New York State

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (NYS OASAS) on Tuesday announced the launch of a new media campaign reminding people of the warning signs of addiction and overdoses, and that addiction can happen to anyone. It is designed to reach people traveling for the holidays and will run through the end of December. The campaign is partially funded with money awarded to New York State under the federal State Opioid Response grant.

This multifaceted campaign will run across the state, and will involve a variety of mediums, including television, radio, and digital and social media, as well as movie theaters and shopping malls. Read more here.
50-State Scan: How Medicaid Agencies Leverage their Non-Licensed Substance Use Disorder Workforce

Nearly one in every eight adults enrolled in Medicaid has a substance abuse disorder (SUD), and a significant barrier to treatment is a shortage of SUD professionals in every state. In response, state Medicaid agencies are developing and deploying a growing workforce of non-licensed, non-master's-level treatment and support providers - such as peers, counselors, and other qualified staff - to provide a range of services to supplement licensed SUD provider capacity. 

To help states address SUD workforce challenges and identify cutting-edge solutions, the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) conducted a comprehensive review of how each state Medicaid program was paying for and overseeing non-licensed SUD staff. This brief summarizes what steps states are taking to reduce workforce shortages and provides resources to help states develop new approaches to expanding their SUD workforce.
The Class of 2000 'Could Have Been Anything'
The high school yearbook is a staple of teenage life. But for some, it reflects the devastating toll of the opioid crisis.

The Minford High School Class of 2000, in rural Minford, Ohio, began its freshman year as a typical class. It had its jocks and its cheerleaders, its slackers and its overachievers.

But by the time the group entered its final year, its members said, painkillers were nearly ubiquitous, found in classrooms, school bathrooms and at weekend parties.

Over the next decade, Scioto County, which includes Minford, would become ground zero in the state's fight against opioids. It would lead Ohio with its rates of fatal drug overdoses, drug-related incarcerations and babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

To understand both the scope and the devastating consequences of what is now a public health crisis, we talked to dozens of members of the Class of 2000. 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.