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December 21, 2018

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
First Capital Region Raise the Age program begins - Albany County

Police in Sullivan County Explain New Addiction Treatment Program

New Training Program for First Responders to Combat the Opioid Epidemic - Suffolk County

Program offers help for female inmates - Suffolk County

Opioid overdose program expands to Mount Sinai Beth Israel - NYC

Would you recognize the signs of mental illness? - Oneida County

Governor Cuomo Announces Western New York Workforce Development Challenge Awardees

Cattaraugus, Allegany counties make plans for state opioid response grants
Office of Mental Health Reopens RFP to Children's Mental Health Clinics, RTFs

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has reopened a grant opportunity available to children's mental health clinics and Residential Treatment Facilities. The office has determined that a technical fix is required to address confusion regarding the eligibility criteria for applicants responding to the "Capital Grants for Preservation, Expansion and/or Restructuring of Children's Clinics and RTFs" Request for Proposals (RFP), and has issued a clarification to ensure all potential applicants have a full understanding of the eligibility requirements. OMH re-opened the RFP on Tuesday, December 18; revised submissions are due February 8, 2019. Read more here.
OMH Managed Care Update - December 2018
Click here for the December issue.
A Doctor's Guide to What to Read on the Opioid Crisis

Generic Opioid Overdose Antidote Treatment to be Available in 2019

Heroin Addiction Explained: How Opioids Hijack The Brain

'Nowhere To Go But Up ' - A Small Town Confronts Its Addiction Crisis

Hep C And Drug Abuse Often Go Hand In Hand, But Screening For Infection Lags

Teen Vaping Soared In 2018

Follow-Up Care After First Emergency Department Visit for Youth With Psychotic Disorders

A New Way To Get College Students Through A Psychiatric Crisis - And Back To School

Telemedicine Shows Promise to Improve Geriatric Psychiatric Care

2,000 Human Brains Yield Clues to How Genes Raise Risk for Mental Illnesses
A New Way To Get College Students Through A Psychiatric Crisis - And Back To School

Sometimes a psychiatric crisis can be triggered by something small. For Alexia Phillips, 21, it was a heated argument with a close family member in February 2017. She remembers the fight blew up before she left the house to go to classes at Queens College in Flushing, New York.

By midday, Phillips, then a sophomore, says she began to cry loudly and uncontrollably. "It really triggered me. I just got really angry really fast...I was crying so much I couldn't breathe and couldn't talk. I didn't know how to handle it," she says.

As she would come to understand later, Phillips was experiencing symptoms of her underlying borderline personality disorder, anxiety and depression. But at the time, all she knew was she felt too overwhelmed to go home, or to go to class. She also didn't want anyone to see her like that. Finally, she went to her college counseling center for the first time and asked for help.

Minutes later, Phillips' counselor, a college public safety officer and a paramedic trained to deal with psychiatric crises, calmly and unobtrusively escorted her to the back of the college through a quiet hallway door that led out to a parked ambulance sent from Zucker Hillside Hospital. She was ferried - without the lights or sirens - to be assessed at the hospital's special program for college students.

This kind of response to a student crisis is unusual. In a lot of colleges, if staff think the student who's having a crisis may be unsafe, they have little choice but to call 911. Many schools lack resources to address serious crises and students are left to navigate the health care system on their own.

But Queens College is part of the 
Behavioral Health College Partnership, an innovative mental health program run by Northwell Health, a health care system in New York. Read more here.

January 4, 2 - 3 pm, NAADAC

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
January 8, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

A Duty to Protect-Mental Health Care to the Incarcerated
January 9, 1 - 2 pm, National Sheriffs' Association

Implementing SBIRT in Rural Clinics: A How-to Guide
January 9, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

January 10, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Working with Individuals Diagnosed with Personality Disorders
January 10, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
January 15, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program: Reducing Substance Use Disorders
January 17, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Brief Intervention: Process and Techniques
January 24, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
January 29, 3 - 4 pm, OMH



CLMHD Office Closed - Christmas
December 25


CLMHD Office Closed - New Year's Day
January 1

C-SPOA Coordinators Call
January 4:  1 - 2 pm,

Executive Committee Call
January 9:  8 - 9 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting
January 15: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Regional Reps Call
January 16:  8 - 9 am

January 17:  3 - 4 pm, GTM

Directors Call
January 23:  9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
January 24: 1 - 3 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
Need Addiction Recovery Service Around the Clock? Westchester Plans for Crisis Center

Addiction's deadly grip is a constant threat to many in Westchester County who struggle to access recovery services during an emergency.

That threat is pushing county officials to create a crisis stabilization center in White Plains, a 24-hour site offering a variety of medical and social services to those battling mental illnesses, including drug and alcohol addiction.

Westchester's plan, which has yet to pick a location, comes after other communities have seen success with similar stabilization centers. Dutchess County's site, for instance, helped more than 2,500 in crisis since it opened in 2017.

Community leaders described opening a Westchester crisis center as key to addressing flaws in efforts to curb the historic addiction crisis, as well as closing gaps in mental health services.

"Westchester County has seen the deterioration of the safety net for our most vulnerable people," said County Executive George Latimer. Read more here.
CMS: 10 Opportunities to Better Serve Individuals Dually Eligible for Medicaid and Medicare

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter  to state Medicaid directors that outlines both existing and new opportunities for states to better serve individuals dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The letter highlights opportunities to implement new developments with Managed Care, use Medicare data to inform care coordination and program integrity initiatives, and reduce administrative burden for dually-eligible beneficiaries and the providers who serve them.

The letter describes ten opportunities - none of which require complex demonstrations or Medicare waivers - to better serve individuals dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. 
NY County Health Departments Oppose Legalizing Marijuana, Citing Health Risks

An association representing county health departments across New York expressed concern Tuesday about state leaders' plans to legalize recreational marijuana.

Citing various health risks associated with marijuana, the New York State Association of County Health Officials called on lawmakers to "approach legalization thoughtfully and with extreme caution."

Among their concerns, they said, are "future high risk" of addiction to other drugs, harmful cognitive and academic effects, adverse cardiac and respiratory events, unintentional exposure to children, and crashes resulting from drugged driving. Read more here.
Judge Blocks New York From Enforcing Opioid Surcharge on Companies

A Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday blocked New York state from enforcing a recently enacted law that aimed to collect $600 million from drug manufacturers and distributors to defray the costs of combating the opioid addiction epidemic.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled that while the concerns driving New York's decision to adopt the law were valid, the means by which the state would extract payments from the companies violated the U.S. Constitution. Read more here.
After Years in Institutions, a Road Home Paved With Hunger, Violence and Death
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In September 2016, Nestor Bunch lay in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit at Long Island Jewish Hospital. One machine kept him breathing; another fed him through a tube. With the color drained from his face and a sheet drawn to his throat, he looked dead.

His doctors suspected an assault. Bunch, 54, had been hit hard enough to break three ribs. Skeletal muscle tissue was jostled loose into his bloodstream, causing his brain to seize and kidneys to fail. 

For the people who knew Bunch best - his therapists, his social workers, his family - the scene was as unsurprising as it was painful.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Bunch had spent most of his life under some form of supervision, whether in a group home or psychiatric hospital. 

Up until a few years ago, Bunch lived in an adult home - a privately run group home that houses people with disabilities including mental illness. Many such homes had been plagued by scandals of abuse and neglect. But a landmark 2014 settlement won him a chance at what promised to be a better life.

A federal judge ordered that residents of nearly two dozen New York City adult homes be given the chance to transfer into subsidized apartments under a program called scattered site supported housing. Read more here.
Counties Race to Comply with Juvenile Reform

Counties across New York are making plans to expand their probation departments as a result of the state's Raise the Age initiative designed to keep youth out of adult prisons and jails.

"Many counties are going to have to hire probation officers," said Mark LaVigne, spokesman for the New York State Association of Counties, pointing to the law's emphasis on providing mental health counseling and foster care services to troubled teens covered by the law.

Starting Oct. 1, judges could no longer order children who are not yet 17 to be held in jails with adult offenders. The second phase of the law will kick in next Oct. 1, when 17-year-olds at that time will also be steered away from jails and prisons that hold older inmates.

The new law requires the state to reimburse the counties for all costs arising from the program, provided that the county is within the property tax cap - or, if it has exceeded the tax cap, can demonstrate that it has experienced a financial hardship.

But while the first phase of the law is underway, many counties have not yet had their financial plans for Raise the Age approved, LaVigne pointed out. Read more here.
New Faces of the Complex Care Workforce: Reflecting and Connecting with Patients

The  New Faces of the Complex Care Workforce series, developed by the Center for Health Care Strategies, features individuals working at complex care programs across the nation. These profiles explore the role of these "non-traditional health workers," the types of patient populations they have successfully engaged, and the challenges of sustaining these types of programs. Their titles vary - community health worker, care navigator, community paramedic, peer specialist - but the core benefit they provide to patients is the same: a knowledgeable care provider, often with lived experience, and an advocate for better health.
Diversion Programs Offer a Fresh Approach

As the opioid crisis heightens, law enforcement agencies across the nation are taking a new approach by implementing diversion programs that set people up for long-term recovery instead of jail time.

"It has become commonplace to observe that the War on Drugs has failed and that we cannot arrest our way out of problems caused by addiction and mental health issues," says Lisa Daugaard, director of Public Defender Association, a not-for-profit that advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from punishment to a system that supports individual and community health.

One of the organization's programs includes Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), a diversion alternative to jail in response to drug activity and street-based sex workers. LEAD is a collaboration between police, district attorneys, civil rights advocates, public defenders, political leaders, mental health and drug treatment providers, housing providers, and business and neighborhood leaders. Read more here.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Researchers Analyze Vermont's Hub and Spoke Opioid Treatment Model

LEBANON, NH - New Hampshire's Governor and Executive Council recently approved a multi-million dollar contract to provide opioid addiction treatment throughout the state. The goal is to mobilize nine regional health care organizations and hospitals, including Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, through a "hub and spoke" model, to quickly route recovery patients to nearby treatment services throughout the state.

Five years ago, Vermont established a statewide medication assisted treatment (MAT) plan - called the Care Alliance for Opioid Addiction - with the goal of identifying, treating, managing and retaining patients through successful recovery.

A three-year, $3 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing funds to enhance and expand MAT treatment in Rutland, Addison, Chittenden and Franklin counties, which are among the hardest-hit communities in the state. The grant has four goals: organize teams of caregivers in each hub, offer MAT in all hubs and spokes, offer specialty addiction services, and build recovery support for patients in treatment. 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.