March 3, 2022
Courtney David Selected to Serve As Executive Director of the NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors
The New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors (CLMHD) is pleased to announce that it has named Courtney David as its new Executive Director, effective March 1, 2022.

"Courtney has been an employee of the Conference for several years as the Director of Governmental Relations and is known to many of our members and key partners. During her years with the CLMHD, Courtney has demonstrated her abilities as a leader, collaborator, advocate, and valued professional,” said Katherine G. Alonge-Coons, CLMHD Chair. “We welcome Courtney into this new leadership role and look forward to continuing to work toward ensuring access to quality behavioral healthcare treatment and prevention services to the residents of New York State.” Read more here.
Governor Hochul Announces Funding for Additional Innovative, Effective Community-Based Treatment Teams

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the availability of more than $14 million in annual funding for 14 new Assertive Community Treatment teams across the State. ACT is an innovative and highly effective community-based mental health program that serves individuals who have serious mental illness and have not been successfully engaged by the traditional mental health treatment and rehabilitation system.

“A top priority for my administration is improving the State’s healthcare system and ensuring that every New Yorker is able to receive the services they need,” Governor Hochul said. Read more here.
NYS OASAS Announces Availability of Funding to Support Addiction Prevention Workforce in New York State

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports today announced the availability of up to $1 million in funding for OASAS certified and funded Prevention providers to establish and support paid internship positions. Providers can receive up to $21,000 under this initiative, which is focused on attracting diverse individuals into the prevention field and providing them a pathway towards a professional credential. Read more here.
Governor Hochul Announces Availability of Funding to Expand Mobile Medication Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services in New York City

Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday announced the availability of up to $1 million for providers to establish mobile medication units to provide medications to treat substance use disorder, including methadone and buprenorphine. The development of these MMUs is made possible by a DEA rule change, allowing these units to be operated by existing Opioid Treatment Program providers. This federal funding is being provided to New York State through the federal State Opioid Response grant and is being awarded through an RFA administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene. Read more here.
President Biden Addresses Mental Health Crisis in State of the Union

During his first State of the Union, President Joe Biden introduced his administration’s strategy to address the national mental health crisis and called on Congress to help.

The portion of the speech before Congress on March 1 devoted to mental health was brief, lasting about 5 minutes, and touched on four points: the opioid epidemic; mental health in kids; access to mental health care for all Americans; supporting veterans.

These four points are part of a broader strategy the administration hopes will improve the way mental health is understood and treated. Read more here.
Hochul Seeks to Extend Kendra’s Law, Rekindling Debate Over Court-Mandated Mental Health Treatment

When New Yorker Michelle Go was pushed in front of an oncoming train in a Times Square subway station last month, the tragedy predictably set off a flurry of recommendations for how to reform the mental health system.

Martial Simon, the man accused of pushing her, even reportedly talked openly about struggling to get the mental health care and stable housing he needed.

And in the aftermath of Go’s death and other high-profile crimes, Mayor Eric Adams issued a wide-ranging plan to make the subways safer. It included a call to enhance Kendra’s Law — a 1999 statute that has become go-to in such situations. Read more here.
Implementing The 988 Hotline: A Critical Window To Decriminalize Mental Health

Mental health in the US is in crisis. Suicide rates have increased over the past decade. Pediatric and adult emergency department visits for suicide attempts have substantially increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Less than half of adults with mental illness are receiving treatment, and the demand for inpatient psychiatric care consistently and significantly exceeds supply.

This July, the US model for responding to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis is scheduled for a much-needed change. The 988 number is a three-digit, national mental health crisis hotline that was mandated by the federal government in October 2020 with an official nationwide start date on July 16, 2022. This hotline builds on the infrastructure of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline but with a broader directive: to provide 24/7 phone or text support for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or in need of suicide prevention services. Read more here.

Additional article of interest: 988 and Deaf Services
Rethinking Value: Perspectives on the Benefits of Cross-Sector Collaboratives Serving Populations with Complex Health and Social Needs

Cross-sector collaboration is recognized as an important step in improving health equity and addressing the collective challenges facing healthcare, the social sector, and public health organizations at the community level. However, different sectors and community stakeholders continue to operate under siloed cultural, operational, and funding structures and contexts.

We explored how different organizations and community members define and measure the value of cross-sector collaboration through key informant focus groups with organizations and affiliated community members involved in cross-sector collaborations. These conversations led to the identification of four underlying dimensions that contribute to participants’ understanding of “value:” Read more here.
What Exactly is the Access Problem?

This past week has made me think about the “access problem” for behavioral health services. Certainly, there are a number of reports documenting the increasing incidence of behavioral health problems. COVID had a negative effect on mental well-being—and on alcohol and drug use—for the majority of Americans. Major depressive disorder rose by 28% and the prevalence of anxiety disorders rose by 26% from January 2020 to January 2021.

At the same time, there are a number of reports about the supply of mental health therapists. According to an analysis by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the U.S. needs a population to provider ratio of 30,000 to 1—coming up short by over 6,000.

The key questions are whether the increase in mental health disorders really translate into demand for treatment services and, if so, are there enough clinical professionals to serve those consumers. Read more here.

Study Finds Mental Health Challenges in Higher Education

The pandemic has made worse a mental health crisis on college campuses across the country, and expanded education programs, as well as new considerations for mental health needs, are required to combat the problem, a study released Thursday morning found.

The study from the Mental Health Association in New York State comes nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the college experience for millions of students across the country and found a growing demand for mental health services on campuses. Read more here.

Accelerating and Enhancing Behavioral Health Integration Through Digitally Enabled Care

The American Medical Association (AMA) and Manatt Health gathered a diverse working group of stakeholders representing physician practices and health systems, large employers, health plans, and patient advocates to meet twice during the fall of 2021 and inform the development of a new report on advancing the adoption of behavioral health integration (BHI) through digitally enabled care. Jointly developed by the AMA and Manatt Health, the report, summarized below, shares the working group’s proceedings. It builds on the AMA’s ongoing efforts to advance effective and sustainable BHI, including the BHI Collaborative and the AMA Return on Health framework for measuring the comprehensive value of virtual care.
March 3, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

March 8, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

March 8, 7 pm, NAMI

March 9, 1 - 2 pm, NACo

March 9, 3 - 4 pm, Fierce Healthcare

March 10, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

March 10, 3 - 4:30 pm, Policy Research Associates

March 16, 10 - 11 am, OMH

March 16, 12 - 1 pm, Systems for Action

March 16, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

March 16, 2 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

March 17, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

March 17, 3 - 4:30 pm, Policy Research Associates

March 22, 12 - 1:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

March 22, 2 - 3 pm, NAASP

March 22, 2 - 3:30 pm, OMH

March 23, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

March 24, 3 - 4:30 pm, Policy Research Associates

March 30, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

March 30, 2 - 3 pm, NACo


OASAS Agency Day
March 7: 9:30 - 11:30 am

OMH Agency Day
March 8: 9:30 - 11:30 am

OPWDD Agency Day
March 9: 9:30 - 11:30 am

Addictions Services & Recovery Meeting
March 10: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
March 10: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call
March 14: 10 - 11:30 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting
March 15: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
March 17: 1 - 2:30 pm

Save the Date - CLMHD's Spring Full Membership Meeting is scheduled for April 21-22, 2022 in Saratoga Springs!
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.

Affiliated with the NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC)