May 20, 2021
NYS Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Mental Health Crisis Services

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and New York State lawmakers are looking at ways to better improve policies and initiatives to reach those who need help. Today they’re holding a joint legislative hearing on the issue.

Starting July 2022, the number 9-8-8 will be the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Right now, states across the country, including New York, are having discussions about the infrastructure. An implementation plan is due by the end of December.

“A critical first step is a reliable telephone call system that connects the person in crisis to a counselor and services as needed,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan.

The state is also in the process of expanding crisis stabilization centers as an alternative place for those with mental health needs to go to rather than a hospital. Read more here.
Assemblymember Bronson on His Bill to Increase Number of Mental Health Professionals

A bill sponsored by two Rochester lawmakers, Assemblyman Harry Bronson and Senator Samra Brouk, will address the shortage of mental health professionals during a time when the need for mental health services is very high.

A6008/S5301 would require clinical experience for certain mental health practitioners in order to make diagnoses and create treatment plans.

“This bill would authorize three mental health professions to diagnose and put together treatment plans for individuals, including children, who may need mental health services,” Bronson told Capital Tonight.
Read more here.
NEW PODCAST: Charting the Way: A National Strategy for the Behavioral Health Workforce

Behavioral health challenges—notably substance use and mental health—are more prevalent than ever, but the workforce needed to provide support is shrinking, even as the need for equitable services grows. How did we get here? How can we turn the tide? And how can we incorporate social justice into those efforts? We’ll address all of these questions in the Charting the Way podcast miniseries.

In this first episode, Abt’s Sarah Steverman and NACBHDD’s Ron Manderscheid take a look at the nation’s critical behavioral health workforce needs and discuss strategies for closing the gaps.

May 20, 2 - 3 pm, COSSAP

May 20, 2 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

May 25, 12 - 1 pm, Behavioral Health Business

May 25, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYS Helping Those Who Help Others Steering Committee

May 25, 2 - 3 pm, NASMHPD

May 26, 10 - 11 am, OMH

May 26, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 26, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

May 27, 1:30 - 3 pm, NASMHPD

May 27, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

June 2, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

June 2, 2 - 3:30 pm, NASMHPD

June 2, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

June 10, 10 - 11 am, OMH

June 16, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

June 16, 1 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

June 16, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

June 17, 2 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

June 24, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

June 29, 2 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

June 30, 10 - 11 am, OMH

June 30, 1 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center


WEBINAR: CLMHD Criminal Justice Interactive Data Matching Tool 
May 27, 1 - 2:30 pm

CLMHD Offices Closed - Memorial Day
May 31


Executive Committee Meeting
June 2: 8 - 9 am

WEBINAR: No Wrong Door - Blueprint for Implementing an Integrated Clinic: Seneca County
June 3, 10 - 11:30 am

LGU Billing Staff Call
June 3: 2 - 3 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
June 3: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call
June 8: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting
June 10: 11 am - 12 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
June 10: 1 - 2:30 pm

AOT Coordinators Meeting
June 11: 10 - 11:30 am

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

CLMHD Membership Call
June 16: 10 - 11:30 am

WEBINAR: Blueprint for Crisis Response Continuum: Orange County
June 16: 2 - 3:30 pm

WEBINAR: Blueprint for Suicide Prevention Innovation: Westchester County 
June 22, 10 - 11:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
June 22, 1 - 3 pm
HHS Announces $3 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funding for SAMHSA Block Grants to Address Addiction, Mental Health Crisis

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing $3 billion in American Rescue Plan funding — the largest aggregate amount of funding to date for its mental health and substance use block grant programs.

The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) Program and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program (SABG) will disperse $1.5 billion each to states and territories (with the latter also awarding money to a tribe). This follows the March announcement of supplemental funding of nearly $2.5 billion for these programs. SAMHSA, an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has expedited federal funding to grantees to help communities grappling with mental health and substance use needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Annual Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs or Suicide Exceeded 156,000 According to the Most Recent Data

Newly released data show that 156,242 Americans died due to alcohol, drugs or suicide in 2019, a record number of such deaths in a single year. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic increased stress and related substance use for many Americans.

During 2019, alcohol and drug-induced deaths increased, while suicide rates were slightly lower. Over the last decade, 2009 – 2019, the number of alcohol and drug related and suicide deaths increased by 52 percent. These data are part of a report releasing this week, Pain in the Nation: Alcohol, Drug and Suicide Deaths, the latest in a series of reports tracking the nation's deaths of despair crisis produced by Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust. Read more here.
CMS Data Shows Vulnerable Americans Forgoing Mental Health Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data today highlighting the continued impact the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) is having on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries and utilization of health services. The data show that, from March through October 2020, beneficiaries have foregone millions of primary, preventive, and mental health care visits due to the COVID-19 PHE, compared to the same time period in 2019. Although utilization rates for some treatments have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, mental health services show the slowest rebound. Read more here.
Three-Quarters of Patients with Schizophrenia Report Substance Use, Chart Review Finds

A review of electronic medical records of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in a community teaching hospital’s psychiatric unit found that more than three-quarters used substances such as tobacco and cannabis. Researchers presented their findings in a poster at the virtual 2021 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.

“Our study found a high association between schizophrenia spectrum disorders and substance use, with 3 out of 4 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders using a substance,” wrote first author Terence Tumenta, MD, MPH, of the psychiatry department at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and colleagues. “This prevalence is higher than previously reported by other studies.” Read more here.
Assessing the Impact of Complex Care Models: Opportunities to Fill in the Gaps

High-quality complex care models are responsive to the needs and desires of patients and families, while also prioritizing provider and staff well-being. Quality measures that capture both patient perspectives on the care they receive, as well as staff assessments on the care they provide, can help us better understand the impact of complex care models.

Through the Advancing Integrated Models (AIM) initiative, made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, eight pilot sites are implementing approaches that seek to improve integrated, person-centered care models for adults and children with complex health and social needs. This brief describes a process used to identify a set of patient- and staff-reported measures for the AIM pilot sites. These measures, detailed in the brief, can supplement traditional utilization, outcomes, and cost measures and support complex care programs interested in expanding their capacity to evaluate care delivery innovations.
Funding Opportunity: Opioid Affected Youth Initiative 

Funding and technical assistance for states, local governments, and tribal jurisdictions to develop and implement a data-driven, coordinated, statewide or community-wide response system to assist with the identification, prevention, treatment, enforcement, and deterrence needed to address the opioid epidemic and its impact on youth and communities.

Application Deadline: Jun 28, 2021

FORE Releases Request for Proposals Focused on Bringing Innovative Solutions to the Opioid Crisis

On Wednesday, FORE released a Request for Proposals (RFP) aimed at specific projects that bring an innovative approach to long-standing and complex issues related to stemming the tide of the nation’s opioid crisis. This RFP targets projects which can explore and/or evaluate new “outside-the-box” ideas, bring together approaches from several diverse fields, and engage multi-disciplinary, cross-sector teams to solve some of the crisis’ most intractable problems. This opportunity will focus on projects in the following three areas which, based on discussions with experts in the field, are widely recognized challenges to adequately address the opioid crisis with few examples of how to approach differently to accelerate improvements in reducing overdoses, increasing access to treatment, and supporting long-term recovery:

  • Professional Education and Training
  • Timely and Actionable Data
  • Supporting the Transition from Treatment to Recovery

More details can be found on our Apply for a Grant page or clicking on the links to the left. Applicants may apply for a grant of up to $300,000 a year for up to two years. All applications must be submitted through our grants management system by 11:59 PM EST on July 19, 2021.
A Full Pandemic Recovery Demands Mental Health Support

Workers are returning to offices, and children are filing into classrooms. Restaurants, movie theaters and hair salons are opening their doors. The CDC recently declared that the vaccinated can forgo wearing a mask inside as well as outside. A recovery is on the horizon, with a new and deeper reckoning with the centrality of mental health.

Nearly everyone, after the long months of uncertainty and trauma, has a different notion of who they are and what they need. The middle-class professional mother who put her career on hold to manage childcare when schools closed is in a different place than the essential worker who buried three relatives, lost his job, and was not able to socially distance because he shared a one-bedroom apartment with five people. Read more here.
Naloxone Nasal Spray: FDA Approves Higher Dose for Opioid Overdose

FDA has approved a higher dose naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray as part of increased efforts to stunt surges in opioid-related deaths. Despite a roughly 43% reduction in opioid prescriptions since the peak in 2004, opioid use disorder (OUD) remains one of the United States’ greatest health crises. A flooded black market – mixed with the pandemic’s isolation, job loss, and barriers to substance use treatment – has resulted in a deadly and inequitable environment, with socioeconomic status weighing heavily.

Along with recently relaxed guidelines on prescribing buprenorphine, a commonly used agent in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), this newly approved higher dose of naloxone spotlights a movement toward harm reduction in the treatment of substance use disorders overall. Read more here.

Academic SUD Programs on the Rise, Could Help Plug Workforce Shortage Gaps

The behavioral health care industry has long struggled to attract enough workers to keep up with the demand for services, especially in the substance use disorder (SUD) treatment realm. And the coronavirus has only made things worse, pushing the nation’s SUD crisis to new heights.

To meet the need for professionals, a growing number of colleges and universities are creating specialized academic concentrations and degrees in addiction studies. The programs could potentially bolster the SUD treatment workforce, better equipping the industry to win the critical battle against the SUD epidemic. Read more here.
How To Develop A Value-Based Reimbursement Proposal For Health Plans: The OPEN MINDS Guide

Today, 61% of all health care payments in the United States are tied to performance. Of this, 25% of payments are fee-for-service with a link to quality and value. And 36% of payments are alternative payment models (APMs)—with shared savings, shared risk, bundled payment, population-based payments, integrated finance and delivery system payments. By comparison, APMs constituted only 23% of payments in 2015. APM payments are present for all payers—Medicaid (23%), commercial insurance (30%), traditional Medicare (41%), and Medicare Advantage (54%).

As all payers continue the move to performance-based reimbursement, the burden is on the executive team of every specialty provider organization to be prepared when opportunities arise in their market. Moving from fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement to some non-FFS APM requires a deliberate strategy. There is organizational preparedness and the ability to respond to market opportunities with a proposal and rates. 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.

Affiliated with the NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC)