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August 9, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor

OPWDD People First News Summer Edition Now Available

Click HERE to view the newsletter.

Peer Support for Mental Illness Shown to Reduce Acute Care Readmission

Doctors Grapple with High Suicide Rates in Their Ranks

Employment Opportunity: 
Columbia/Greene County 

Substance Abuse Coordinator for Columbia and Greene Counties. Full-time plus benefits. Responsible for coordinating various substance abuse programs and projects to prevent duplication of services and enhance public awareness.
Ability to work cooperatively with many people; computer skills a must.  Interested candidates should send resume to: 
Employment Opportunity: Columbia County

The Philmont Hearth -- a community residence for 14 adults with mental health diagnoses -- currently seeks qualified applicants for the position of Director of Community Residences. This individual will be responsible to manage all day-to-day operations of the organization, under the guidance of its Board of Directors.  
The successful candidate will provide direct counseling and support for the health and well-being of residents in OMH licensed mental health housing. Read more about the position here.

August 14, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

Prevention in Practice: Building Communities That Strengthen the Resiliency of Future Generations
August 15, 12 - 1 pm, SAMHSA

Telebehavioral Health and the Consumer
August 15, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

August 15, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

August 16, 12:30 - 2 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

Reducing the Risk of Opioid Overdoses: MAT Reentry Programs
August 16, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Advancing Health Care and Community-Based Organization Partnerships to Address Social Determinants: Lessons from the Field
August 17, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

Substance Use Services in Primary Care - An Extension of SBIRT
August 20, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
August 21, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

August 21, 1 - 2:30 pm, Open Minds Executive Briefing

August 21, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

An Update From NCQA©: Focusing On HEDIS® Behavioral Health Measures (Quality Measurement Series Part 1)
August 22, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Addressing Vicarious Trauma for the Individual
August 22, 2 - 3 pm, Office for Victims of Crime Training & Technical Assistance Center

Best Practices for Sustaining Behavioral Health Integration Models in Health Centers Using Health Information Technology
August 22, 3 - 4:30 pm, SAMHSA-HRSA

Join the Recovery LIVE! Virtual Event: Implementing Best Practices and Quality Standards in Recovery Housing
August 23, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

August 28, 12 - 1:30 pm, SAMHSA

August 29, 1 - 2 pm, Transitions ACR

September 5, 11:30 am - 1 pm, SAMHSA

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
September 5, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

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



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


Officers, Chairs & Regional Reps Call
September 5: 8 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
September 6: 1 - 2:30 pm, 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 
Nassau Police Announce Reduction In Opioid Overdoses Thanks To 'Operation Natalie'

Nassau County Police last week revealed overdose numbers are significantly down in part due to a new initiative named after a teenager whose death was the first to highlight the opioid crisis.

Commissioner Patrick Ryder says Nassau County has seen a 30 percent reduction in non-fatal overdoses since January 1st. In the raging epidemic plaguing Long Island, it's the first decrease the county has seen in five years. Fatal overdoses are also down 11 percent, which Nassau Police credit to the new approach dubbed "Operation Natalie."

It's named after Victor Ciappa's 18-year-old daughter.

"Her death exposed the horrors of heroin addiction, which was in our backyards and none of us knew it," said Ciappa said on Wednesday.  Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Announces Workgroup to Draft Legislation for Regulated Adult-Use Marijuana Program

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo  last week
appointed a workgroup to draft legislation for a regulated adult-use marijuana program for the legislature to consider in the upcoming session based on the  findings of a multi-agency study he commissioned in January. 

The study, led by the Department of Health, concluded that the positive impacts of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts, and that areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations.  Read more here .
Project TEACH Shines Light on Maternal Depression in NYS

The Office of Mental Health's Project TEACH program is offering two new web-based videos for health care providers to effectively diagnose and treat maternal depression across the state.

The webinars are posted on the program's website, and are part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's multi-agency effort to combat maternal depression.

Between 15 and 20 percent of women experience some form of pregnancy-related depression or anxiety. It could include prenatal depression, the "baby blues," postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis, according to the New York State Department of Health.

While these conditions are treatable, a pediatric primary care provider or family practice doctor may not have access to the consultation or training needed to help. Read more here.
As Calls to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline Surge, Under-Resourced Centers Struggle to Keep Up

On the day of Anthony Bourdain's death by suicide, calls to Community Crisis Services, Inc. (CCSI), a crisis center that answers calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, went up 500 percent. Across the country, counselors scrambled to field the spike in calls. Tim Jansen, the center's executive director, brought in extra staff and answered calls himself. It wasn't enough.

In the half hour it took Jansen to drive home, he heard the Lifeline number announced seven times on the radio. He checked his phone, watching as calls at the center queued up, knowing that after a long day, he "wasn't in the mental place to be able to dial in and help them."

On July 23, the House passed the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act, which seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the Lifeline and the feasibility of implementing a 3-digit dialing code like 911, a number that could be easier to remember than the current 10-digit number. But some local crisis center directors that field Lifeline calls and advocates say this could place more pressure on an overwhelmed and underfunded network. Read more here.
FDA Gives Drugmakers New Ways to Prove Opioid Disorder Treatments Work

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday expanded the outcome measures drugmakers can use to demonstrate the benefits and effectiveness of new medication- assisted treatments of opioid use disorder.

Under the new draft guidance, drug developers can look beyond whether medication-assisted treatments reduce patients' opioid use. They can prove efficacy through drops in mortality, emergency department visits, or transmission of hepatitis C. Other measurable outcomes could include improvements in patients' ability to resume work or school, or by the share of patients with moderate to severe forms of opioid use disorder who go into remission while using the experimental MAT therapies.

The FDA will also create a pathway by which drugmakers can develop measurements of effectiveness where patient-reported experiences on how a MAT therapy cuts down their craving for opioids would also be considered. Read more here.
As Opioid Crisis Rages, Some Trade 'Tough Love' For Empathy

It was Bea Duncan who answered the phone at 2 a.m. on a January morning. Her son Jeff had been caught using drugs in a New Hampshire sober home and was being kicked out.

Bea and her husband, Doug, drove north that night nine years ago to pick him up. On the ride back home, to Natick, Mass., the parents delivered an ultimatum: Jeff had to go back to rehab, or leave home.

Jeff chose the latter, Bea said. She remembers a lot of yelling, cursing and tears as they stopped the car, in the dead of night, a few miles from the house.

"It was really, really difficult to actually just drop him off in a parking lot on our way home and say, you made the decision - no rehab - so we made the decision, no home," Bea said. "It was exquisitely difficult."

But it was not unexpected. Doug Duncan said many parents had told him to expect this moment. Your son, he remembered them saying, will have to "hit rock bottom; you're going to have to kick him out of the house."

Two torturous days later, Jeff Duncan came home. While he returned to rehab, the Duncans decided their approach wasn't working. They sought help, eventually connecting with a program that stresses empathy:  CRAFT or Community Reinforcement and Family Training. Read more here.
Engaging Behavioral Health Patients Through Digital Tools

Mental health remains out of sight for so many providers. Not only are their patients often out of physical view, but the symptoms of many mental health conditions can stay hidden even when patients are sitting in doctors' offices.

But digital tools are opening up more vantage points and providers are gaining new insights into their patients' mental and emotional states-which can affect so much of their entire well-being.

Nearly one-fifth of U.S. adults have a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, but in 2016, fewer than half of those people received treatment in the past year. When people do get treatment, it's not necessarily effective: About 13% of patients admitted to the hospital for mental health reasons are readmitted within 30 days, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

To meet the need for behavioral healthcare -and to improve it - some healthcare organizations are turning to patient-engagement apps, others are using fitness trackers to monitor patients' sleep, and others are conducting telemedicine consults from within primary-care physicians' offices. With these tools, they're aiming to increase patient interaction, which can improve outcomes not only for behavioral health but health in general. Read more here.
Making Consumer-Centricity A Reality For Medicaid Consumers With Complex Needs

Last month, Monica Oss took a look at a proposed initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for direct value-based reimbursement of provider organizations, describing it as "another step in moving health care provider reimbursement from volume to value."  The focus of the piece was on consumer-centricity: "The proposed model touts a consumer-centric model, by giving consumers greater control in selecting their primary care practice through beneficiary engagement tools to empower beneficiaries, their families, and their caregivers to take ownership of the beneficiary's health."

There are consumer-centric strategies and models on the drawing board all around the field. Or, as Geisinger Health System's Chief Informatics Officer Alistair Erskine was quoted as saying in a Forbes article last October, "Everyone talks about putting the patient first and that's great, but to make it actually happen we needed to take a big step that would force us to change."
Geisinger's "big step" was to offer refunds on copayments in 2015 as part of its ProvenExperience program. Read more here.
Consider Protections for Specfici Patient Populations in Designs

To say patient safety is a priority for behavioral healthcare facilities is an understatement. Federal, state and local laws and regulations offer an array of requirements for facilities to meet, but behavioral healthcare organizations also bring their own patient safety standards to the table. New inpatients are often at their most vulnerable, and self-harm protections must be considered. However, experts say design doesn't have to be hampered by the need for safety.

When America's Rehab Campuses designs a new facility, the organization is often repurposing a former hotel or resort. From a safety perspective, that means that each new facility brings its own challenges. "We walk through and are prepared to adapt everything," says Michelle Carrasco, the organization's chief administrative officer in Tucson, Ariz. That could mean removing a hedge to eliminate hiding places and improve sightlines to patients to removing the materials left behind, like spring mattresses, that could endanger patients if someone removed a spring to use as a weapon. 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.