December 2, 2021
Governor Hochul Announces $3 Million in New Grants to Expand Access to Telehealth across All New York Regions

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced a $3 million grant program to invest in new technologies that will improve access and adoption of telehealth in underserved communities. This program will support community health providers to purchase audiovisual and remote monitoring devices and work with other community partners to establish physical telehealth spaces in places such as libraries, homeless shelters, pharmacies and other locations. $150,000 will be awarded to each of ten regions of the State. The grants will be matched by private philanthropic support a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, established through the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt at the recommendation of Schmidt Futures, in partnership with the New York State Health Foundation. The grants are intended to provide public-private support for innovations in health care delivery. The grants are intended to provide public-private support for innovations in health care delivery. Applications will open January 4th, 2022 and more information can be found here.
Supervised Injection Sites for Drug Users to Open in New York City

In an attempt to curb a surge in overdose deaths caused by increasingly potent street drugs, New York City will authorize two supervised injection sites in Manhattan to begin operating as soon as Tuesday.

Trained staff at two sites — in the neighborhoods of East Harlem and Washington Heights — will provide clean needles, administer naloxone to reverse overdoses and provide users with options for addiction treatment, city health officials said. Users will bring their own drugs. Read more here.

Years After NY Medicaid Overhaul, Kids’ Access to Mental Health Care Still in Crisis: Report

In 2011, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered an overhaul of the state’s Medicaid system, including reforming coverage for the approximately 2 million kids across New York enrolled in Children’s Medicaid.

Core to the Children’s Medicaid Redesign Plan was expanding and streamlining youth behavioral health services—which are used by approximately 10 percent of the state’s children on Medicaid each year—and which were previously provided through a patchwork of waiver programs that advocates and customers said led to fragmented and substandard care. Read more here.
Mental Health Training for Clinicians Reduces Stigma, Improves Diagnostic Accuracy

Two separate efforts, both involving training and education interventions for health care workers, show promise in reducing stigma and improving care for patients with mental health conditions, data show.

“Mental health issues are widespread, affecting 20% of U.S. adults each year,” Lunarosa Peralta, MPH, a senior evaluation consultant in the Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute Center for Evaluation and Analytics, and colleagues wrote. “Patient-facing workers in health care regularly interact with individuals with mental health issues ranging from situational stress and anxiety to more severe and chronic conditions. Few patient-facing workers receive training about mental health issues or how to respond effectively when patients and family members exhibit symptoms.” Read more here.
Creating Buy-In: Best Practices for Collaborating with Referral Sources for Crisis Stabilization Units

Crisis stabilization units offer law enforcement officers and mobile crisis teams a safe place to bring people in behavioral health crisis, often in lieu of arrest or emergency hospitalization. However, they can be challenging to establish without the appropriate funding and support from key partners needed to operate the units effectively. Creating buy-in among referral sources, is one important component of achieving this support needed. This brief offers crisis stabilization unit leaders three best practices for collaborating with referral sources to ensure its success.
Labor Shortages Impacting Care for Patients with Disabilities: Here's how Some Organizations are Tackling the Problem

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the turnover rate among support staff for people living with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDDs) has continued to climb.

That’s despite people with IDDs being significantly more at risk of dying from coronavirus. In fact, intellectual disability was found to be the second-highest risk factor besides age for death from COVID-19. They are also nearly four times more likely to have high annual medical expenses. And pregnant people with IDDs have been shown to be at higher risk for comorbidities and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Read more here.
States Forced to Get Creative to Recruit More Behavioral Health Workers

Recruiting workers to fill vacancies remains one of behavioral health’s most formidable challenges. As the industry looks for creative solutions to tackle the problem, some believe that the mission to do so begins with getting enough prospective employees excited about growing in the profession.

Emil Slane is the deputy commissioner and chief fiscal officer of the New York State Office of Mental Health, and he feels that a major issue among many revolves around competitive wages. Read more here.
Initiating Medicaid Coverage In Prison 30-Days Prior To Reentry

Individuals at every stage of the criminal legal system are historically estranged from health care systems. This is reflected in disproportionate rates of chronic illness among individuals entering facilities, exacerbated illness during incarceration, the 80 percent of released individuals without health insurance, and the 129-point increase in relative odds of fatal overdose upon reentry given disconnection from community-based care. Improved connection to health care upon release can break the cycle of incarceration and stabilize the lives of individuals returning to open community.

While concerns over the welfare of incarcerated individuals have haunted communities for generations - and Black and Brown communities disproportionately - the COVID-19 pandemic elevated these issues to the general public’s attention. Read more here.

Cannabis Sale Opt-Outs Filed by 9% of NY Towns

As New York prepares to issue licenses to commercial marijuana shops, about one out of every 10 towns and villages have signaled they are banning both the stores and venues for on-site consumption of cannabis, CNHI has learned.

The data was provided by the Association of Towns of New York State, and is based on filings with the state Department of State, which is a repository for all laws enacted by local governments. Read more here.
Advocates Urge Hochul to Provide Homelessness Funding

Advocates for supportive housing for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness are hoping Gov Kathy Hochul will make a bold commitment for their cause, including a financial pledge to help develop 14,000 housing units over the next decade.

Six years ago, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed onto a statewide housing plan to tackle homelessness, pledging to establish 20,000 living units over 15 years. The plan was funded through the first five years. Last year, $215 million was promised initially ahead of a potential new five-year plan. Read more here.

December 2, 1:30 - 2:30 pm,

December 6, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

December 7, 11 am - 12:30 pm, NYSOPDV

December 7, 12 - 1 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

December 7, 1 - 2 pm, PsychU

December 8, 11 am - 12 pm, DOH

December 8, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

December 8, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

December 9, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

December 9, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

December 9, 2:30 - 4 pm, Academy of Peer Services

December 13, 12 - 5 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

December 14, 2 - 3 pm, United Hospital Fund

December 14, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

December 15, 10 - 11 am, OMH

December 15, 10 am - 12 pm, DOH

December 15, 1 - 2:30 pm, DOH

December 17, 1 - 2 pm, MHANYS


Addictions Services & Recovery Meeting
December 9: 11 am - 12 pm

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

CLMHD Membership Call
December 15: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
December 16: 1 - 3 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting
December 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Christmas Observed
December 24

CLMHD Office Closed - New Year's Day Observed
December 31
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)