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October 13, 2016

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

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Francine Sinkoff, Editor


October 26, 12 - 1 pm

The NYC and ROS BHIT Team will be hosting Vendor fairs as a forum for Adult Behavioral Health HCBS providers looking to contract and upgrade with one of the BHIT HCBS Qualified Vendor Solutions. This is an opportunity for providers to meet and greet these vendors in person to assist with the vendor selection process. The vendor fairs will take place in NYC (10/14), Rochester (10/28), and Albany (11/10).

October 21, 2 - 3 pm, NYS OASAS
The Kids' Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC), developed by CCF is designed to advance the use of children's health, education and well-being indicators as a tool for policy development, planning, and accountability. The KWIC Team is excited to debut the new MEB indicators as part of New York's effort to identify communities that would benefit from early MEB promotion and prevention services. 
The Business and Operations of Long Acting Injectable Medications
October 27, 2 - 3 pm, Care Transitions Network



OMH Agency Meeting &  Director's & Executive Committee Meeting - In Person
October 17:
10 am - 12 pm ( 44 Holland Ave., Albany - 8th Fl.)
1 - 3 pm ( 41 State Street, Ste. 505, Albany)

Children & Families Committee
October 25:  11:30 am - 1 pm
GTM Only

RPC Advisory Committee 
October 27:  8 am
GTM Only


Officers & Chairs - Call In
November 2:  8 - 9 am

RPC Advisory Committee 
November 10:  8 am
GTM Only

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting information, 518.462.9422 
NYS OMH Announces $4.9 Million Expansion of Program Connecting Children with Behavioral Health Services

The New York State Office of Mental Health recently announced the launch of the Project TEACH Statewide Coordination Center, which will further expand a program that supports the treatment of children with mild-to-moderate mental health problems within pediatric primary care settings.

Project TEACH (Training and Education for the Advancement of Children's Health) links pediatric primary care providers with child psychiatrists to provide immediate consultation services. The program expands the availability and accessibility of children's psychiatric se rvices throughout New York State.

"Project TEACH has been extremely successful in matching children with the behavioral health services they need, through easily accessible primary care providers," said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. "As Project TEACH continues to expand, the Office of Mental Health recognizes a need to further coordinate these services, ensuring their proper support and organization. The new Statewide Coordination Center will help bring this valuable service to more children across the state and let families know that New York State is here to help."

The Office of Mental Health also announced that the program selected Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatry Academy to operate the coordination center. New York State will invest $4.9 million through June 2020 to support the Statewide Coordination Center (SCC) and ensure use of the program is at full capacity. The SCC will provide training and consultation services statewide to promote children's social and emotional health.  It will continuously evaluate the Project TEACH program and assess its impact on New York State's youth, while promoting efficiency through ongoing improvements. The Academy was selected to run the SCC through an open Request for Proposals process.  Read more here.
Significant Challenges Remain in Enforcing Parity Laws

The American healthcare system has made significant strides in improving behavioral healthcare coverage over the last decade, however, experts say it will still be years before true parity is achieved for patients.

Since the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) went into effect in October 2009, stakeholders have seen a significant expansion in service coverage. According to a recent  report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it's estimated that nearly one-fifth of all Americans either have new or enhanced access to behavioral healthcare coverage as a result of the parity laws.

"It's clear now that the parity laws-MHPAEA and its expansion through the Affordable Care Act-have created the potential for the largest expansion of mental health and substance use disorder treatment our nation has ever seen," says Paul Samuels, JD, director and president of the Legal Action Center and co-chair for the Coalition for Whole Health.

In addition to expanded behavioral healthcare coverage, the laws break down barriers to coverage such as artificial caps on the number of inpatient days or outpatient visits.

While policy progress has been made, experts say significant hurdles remain for achieving true parity in care delivery and coverage for services to treat mental health and substance use disorders. The way that the laws play out in daily practice is not entirely straightforward.  Read more here.
Better Coordination Brings Improved Discharge Planning for Those Incarcerated with Behavioral Health Needs

Improving the quality of life for justice-involved individuals living with mental illness and substance use disorders (SUD) can start with something as small as a simple conversation. Two organizations in Hennepin County, Minnesota -  Hennepin County Community Services (HCCS)  and 
RESOURCE Chemical and Mental Health  - can attest to this strategy. As participants in the Health Justice Learning Collaborative (HJLC), an initiative of the National Council for Behavioral Health, HCCS and RESOURCE were able to focus on strengthening the relationship between their two organizations to enhance care coordination and discharge planning for those incarcerated in the Hennepin County jail.

Given that county jails often rely on behavioral health organizations to provide services to inmates, correctional facilities and behavioral health organizations can be instrumental in improving mental health and addictions services for justice-involved individuals.   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.