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June 19, 2020
CLICK HERE for Links to State Guidance and Updates on COVID-19
Advancing Public Policies for people with Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorder and/or Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

Pandemic, money & bail reform blamed for Jefferson County's overdose problem

Correctional, mental health facilities at 'high risk' of COVID-19 - Oneida

Ribbon-cutting held for Golisano Behavioral Health & Wellness Bldg. in Rochester - Monroe
NYS Regional Planning Consortium (RPC) Releases First Quarter Update

The Regional Planning Consortium (RPC) is proud to share its first " Quarterly Update Report," which highlights activities conducted by the rest-of-state RPC by region during January 1 - March 31, 2020. We would like to thank our more than 800 statewide stakeholders and various State Office partners for their continued participation in and commitment to the RPC.

The RPC is a network of 11 regional boards, community stakeholders, and Managed Care Organizations that work closely with State partners to guide behavioral health policy in the regions to problem-solve and develop lasting solutions to service delivery challenges. Visit for more information.
Inpatient Detox Treatment Returns to Ulster County
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A "short-term" solution has been reached to remedy the loss of inpatient  behavioral health treatment in Ulster County due to the COVID-19 pandemic, County Executive Pat Ryan said Tuesday.

Ryan said during a Facebook Live event that inpatient substance-abuse disorder services now are being provided at HealthAlliance Hospital's Broadway Campus in Kingston.

Sixty beds for mental health and detox patients at HealthAlliance's Mary's Avenue Campus, also in Kingston, were eliminated early in the pandemic - to make room for a possible surge in COVID patients - and those services were shifted to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie. The HealthAlliance hospitals and MidHudson Regional are all operated by the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Read more here.
New SAMHSA Publication: Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorders

This guide supports health care providers, systems, and communities seeking to treat stimulant use disorders. It describes relevant research findings, examines best practices, identifies knowledge gaps and implementation challenges, and offers useful resources.
Unite Us Acquires SDOH Analytics Company, Staple Health, To Provide Predictive and Comprehensive Social Care Integration

EMS Can Improve Community Health by Addressing the Social Determinants of Health

ASAM and CARF Launch Transformative Residential Addiction Treatment Certification Nationwide

Police officers stigmatize seeking help for mental-health issues

Rockefeller Institute of Government: A Therapeutic Approach to Substance-Use Disorder

Brief Intervention Tied to Lower Repeat Suicide Attempt

Stress-management strategies can boost health care teams during pandemic
National Council for Behavioral Health Introduces NatCon At Home
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While COVID-19 has brought with it a variety of unexpected challenges, it has also ushered in new learning opportunities and innovative ways to meet you where you are.

Introducing NatCon At Home, a series of online learning experiences offering the same great value as our annual in-person event - at no cost and without the travel! 

We are bringing the very best of NatCon to you. You will get the next-level learning, access to experts and unrivaled thought leadership you've come to know and love - delivered to your desktop.

Although we couldn't meet in Austin, we can unite online to explore the future of behavioral health care and hear from sought-after speakers. What can you expect?
  • Thoughts from Chuck Ingoglia, National Council's president and CEO, on the state of behavioral health care in a COVID-19 world.
  • A "Caring for the Caregivers" fireside chat - and live Q&A session - with Hannah HartPaul Gionfriddo and Carl Clark, MD.
  • An Awards of Excellence program recognizing seven visionary members.
  • A special presentation by Scott Lloyd, president of MTM Services.
This is more than just another webinar. It's a high-octane burst of virtual learning.  Register today to secure your attendance, and prepare to be informed, inspired and engaged.

June 22, 1 - 2 pm, MCTAC/CTAC

June 22, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA

June 23, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Data Sharing Among Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Partners-Addressing Data Sharing Agreements and Confidentiality Concerns
June 24, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

June 24, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

June 25, 12 - 1 pm, APA and MHTTC

Supporting the Resilience of Black Men: Culturally Affirming and Responsive Approaches to Engagement, Treatment, and Recovery
June 25, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA BRSS TACS

Navigating System Cultures across the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM)
June 26, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Addiction Services in Corrections in a COVID-19 World
June 29, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Improving Cultural Competence across the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM)
June 29, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

PSYCKES Train the Trainer
July 1, 10 - 11 am, OMH

July 1, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Using PSYCKES from Home
July 8, 1 - 2 pm, OMH 

July 8, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC 

Law Enforcement Responses to People with Opioid Use Disorders
July 9, 3 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

July 14, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
July 15, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
July 23, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

Data Sharing among Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Partners: Mechanisms and Platforms for Efficient Data and Information Sharing
July 28, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
July 29, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

July 29, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health


JULY 2020

OASAS Agency Day
July 1: 9:30 - 10:30 am, GTM

OMH Agency Day
July 1: 12 - 2 pm, GTM

OPWDD Agency Day
July 1: 2:30 - 4 pm, GTM
CLMHD Office Closed - Independence Day
July 3

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee (ASR) Meeting
July 9: 11 am - 12 pm, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
July 9: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
July 14: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
July 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting (GTM) information, 518.462.9422 
Cuomo Will Soon Distribute a Billion in Medicaid Funding to Counties

After three Republican members of Congress charged that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was needlessly delaying distributing about $1 billion in Medicaid funding to New York counties, the governor's administration announced it will soon hand out the money.

Congress's first coronavirus relief bill that was passed in mid-March increased the share of Medicaid spending that the federal government will cover, called the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), by 6.2 percent. That meant an additional $2.5 billion headed to New York to be split between state and county governments.

"After the federal government repeatedly changed the guidance related to these funds, we're now making final determinations on how much each county will receive in enhanced FMAP and will release it as soon as possible," said Freeman Klopott, a spokesman for the state Division of the Budget. Read more here.
Telemedicine Coverage Expands In NY Under Bill Signed by Cuomo

Additional telemedicine services will be covered under Medicaid in New York state under a measure signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday.

The bill ( S.8416/A.10404) would expand the types of telemedicine services reimbursed by Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program to include audio- and video-only services.

The measure was passed by the state Legislature in late May along with about 30 bills related to the coronavirus outbreak. Read more here.

Additional article of interest:  4 Telehealth Considerations During COVID-19 And Beyond
State Contract Freeze Hits Thousands of Charities

As New York seeks to recover from the economic turmoil of COVID-19, thousands of nonprofits that receive state funding are facing financial uncertainty, including many serving low-income families.

Facing what state officials contend is a $13.3 billion shortfall in this year's budget, Cuomo administration agencies have informed nonprofits in recent weeks that payments are being delayed, and new contracts are on hold, while the state seeks fiscal relief from the federal government.

Doug Sauer, CEO of New York Council of Nonprofits, said "thousands" of nonprofits that get state funding are in jeopardy of seeing it cut or stricken. Read more here.
Cigna Foundation Announces Availability Of $5 Million In Grants

The Cigna Foundation is inviting nonprofits working to create greater access to mental health services to apply for funding through its  Healthier Kids For Our FutureSM grant program. The program will provide up to a total of $5 million in grants to community organizations over the next year.

Healthier Kids For Our FutureSM is a five-year, $25 million global initiative to improve the health and well-being of children that launched in 2019. Phase I focused on reducing childhood hunger and improving nutrition, awarding more than $4.5 million in grants to-date.

In Phase II, the program will add an additional focus area, addressing the mental health and well-being of children. Nonprofits working to improve childhood hunger can still apply as well. Read more here.
New York Awarded $2 Million Federal Grant to Support Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services for Regions Most Impacted By COVID-19

New York State has been awarded $2 million in funding from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to improve accessibility of mental health and substance use disorder services for vulnerable residents in New York City, and Westchester, Rockland and Orange Counties. The four localities account for 75 percent of the state's COVID-19 infections.

The grant application was prepared by the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and will enhance services in two of the hardest hit regions of the State - New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley."

OMH and OASAS will partner with two organizations, Coordinated Behavioral Health Care (CBC) which serves New York City and Coordinated Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) which serves the lower Hudson Valley region. Read more here.
Western NY Partnership Seeks to Improve Health Outcomes in Rural Communities

The School of Social Work and the Department of Biostatistics will partner with a local behavioral health care collaborative over the next two years to create a data warehouse ─ a system that collects and analyzes information ─ that will improve outcomes and reduce costs for mental health and substance use treatment services in the underserved rural areas of New York State.

Integrity Partners for Behavioral Health IPA (IPBH) works with 14 local governments and 11 community-based organizations in Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Genesee, Livingston, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins and Wayne counties. Their strategic collaboration with UB is funded by a $1 million grant jointly provided by the New York State Office of Mental Health and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Read more here.
Facing a Broken Mental Health System, Many U.S. Teens Fall Off a Dangerous 'Cliff' In Their Care

An 18th birthday can mean many things. It's a formal step into adulthood. It's the newfound right to vote, get a tattoo, join the armed forces, be called for jury duty.

It's also what some mental health providers know, anecdotally, as "the cliff," the cutoff at which teens with mental health conditions are flung into adulthood, often without any preparation for the challenges to care ahead. Young adults are among the most at risk of major mental illness, but are among the least likely to get mental health care - which experts say is a huge, pressing problem.

STAT spoke with teenagers, young adults, and mental health providers, and experts across the country to understand the experiences of young people with mental health conditions as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. It's a time when they're flooded with advice - from parents, from teachers, from the speakers at their high school graduation ceremonies.

But young people said no one prepared them for the often-complicated reality of navigating mental health care in adulthood: finding a therapist, filling prescriptions, scheduling appointments, shelling out co-pays. Read more here.

Ring the Alarm: The Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America

Over the last several years, data has emerged indicating an alarming increase in the suicide rates for Black children and teenagers over the past generation. While research has also shown climbing rates for youth from other racial and ethnic groups, this trend in Black youth runs counter to historical data showing lower rates of suicide among Black Americans. The narrowing racial gap in suicide rates tells us that this emergent issue among Black youth warrants attention now. 

In December 2019, The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health 
Suicide in America, and simultaneously introduced legislation aimed at closing the mental health care gap for black youth. 

The intention of the report is to raise awareness; provide an overview on the existing body of research; identify gaps in research, policy and practice; highlight best practices for practitioners; and create a resource document for all who come into contact with Black youth in healthcare, schools and other settings. 

The Millennial Mental-Health Crisis

Throughout the summer of 2012, Tylor Morgan would call his sister Lacey at night and beg her to come over and sit with him.

It wasn't obvious why Tylor felt so depressed. Growing up in Pocatello, Idaho, Lacey and Tylor had a fairly happy childhood. Tylor was shy, with lily-white hair and blue eyes. He retreated to the background while their charismatic older brother, Mark, drew the limelight. Their parents had divorced and remarried, but the siblings stayed close. Recitals were attended and mountains explored. Tylor was "pretty much a normal kid," Lacey, who is now 26, told me.

Tylor graduated high school in 2007, right before the Great Recession. But even that initially seemed okay; he liked to work. As a young man, he managed stores and fast-food restaurants around Pocatello. In his free time, he would tinker with his pickup truck or ride motorcycles.

The only troubling thing Lacey noticed was that Tylor had been drinking a lot. Occasionally, he would get drunk and tell Lacey that he was in pain, and he wanted it to stop. The air felt heavier around him. Read more here.
The NYPD Currently Responds To Mental Health Crisis 911 Calls. Advocates Have Another Approach

Mental health activist Carla Rabinowitz has spent nearly all of Mayor Bill de Blasio's tenure trying to get the city to change the way it handles the  100,000 to 200,000 mental health crisis calls  that come into 911 each year.

For a long time, a centerpiece of that effort was crisis intervention training, a program that provides NYPD officers with de-escalation techniques they can use while interacting with people in emotional distress. Rabinowitz, who serves as advocacy coordinator for the mental health nonprofit Community Access, worked with a coalition of organizations formerly known as Communities for Crisis Intervention Training - NYC to push the city to train some 15,000 officers.

But in the five years since the training started, at least 17 New Yorkers with mental health issues have been killed or critically injured by police, according to CCIT-NYC. Read more here.
4 Factors That Impact Adoption of Behavioral Health Integration

Four factors have a major impact on adoption of behavioral health integration at healthcare organizations, a recent research article says.

About 20% of U.S. adults have a clinically significant behavioral health condition. Prejudice against people with behavioral health conditions and shortages of behavioral health workers has limited effective treatment. Integrating behavioral health into medical care is a top strategy to address behavioral health conditions.

The recent research article was published by Annals of Internal Medicine and funded by the American Medical Association and The Commonwealth Fund. The study features interviews with 47 physician practice leaders and clinicians, 20 behavioral health integration experts, and five vendors. 

The researchers found four factors impact the implementation of behavioral health integration initiatives. Read more here.
Collect The Data, Connect The Dots To Value 
One key tool for executive teams planning for recovery after this crisis period is having the metrics to make the right decisions. I tend to think of this data in three domains. There is financial data for short-term cash management strategy. There is strategic market information for planning long-term post-recovery strategy (this includes both external and internal data). And there is service performance data to optimize value.

We got a great example of the last-service performance data-in the presentation,  Measurable Client Outcomes - A Provider's Journey Continues, by Scott Zeiter, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Jeremy Ulderich, director of educational consulting at Grafton Integrated Health Network last week at The 2020 OPEN MINDS 
Strategy & Innovation Institute. Grafton has implemented a sophisticated approach to providing measurement-based care (MBC) in their programming for consumers with complex behavioral challenges. The program started over a year ago (for more on their program launch. Their presentation focused on what they have learned after fully implementing the MBC service model.

The model is based on a five-step process-identify the consumer behaviors that are problematic and need to change; develop a goal for behavior change; select an "intervention" (from an empirically-based list of practice options); develop a plan for integrating the intervention into a consumer care plan; and measure the effectiveness of the intervention. Read more here.

Additional article of interest:  Making Your Clinical Programs VBR-Ready
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.