February 12, 2021
New York Proposes Crisis Centers, Rather Than Jails, Similar to Dutchess County Model

ALBANY — When Dutchess County opened its stabilization center in 2017, helping provide services for individuals in crisis, officials hoped the 24-hour drop-in center would reduce the county’s jail population as well as avoidable hospital visits.

And while there have been some changes and growing pains along the way, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said the Mid-Hudson Valley county has seen success. Since the center opened, the county jail population has declined 40 percent, and that’s before bail reforms were implemented, Molinaro said.

“We believe that in most cases, we drove down jail populations because of the work that the stabilization does to centralize delivery,” he said. “There was a noticeable reduction in emergency room visits as well that we think is important. The emergency room and jail are the least effective tools to help someone in a mental health crisis.” Read more here.
After Prude Death, Monroe County now Diverting Some Mental Health Calls from 911 to 211

ROCHESTER — Five months after the death of Daniel Prude came to light, Monroe County is making changes, according to a report obtained by 13WHAM News.

Prude's death was ruled a homicide. A grand jury will determine whether there will be criminal charges.

Since then, scrutiny has fallen on the community's response to people who call 911 while in crisis. Some of these crisis calls are now being directed away from a police response.

More than 33,000 people sought mental health services in Monroe County last year. For some, that involved a crisis situation and a call to 911. What once automatically resulted in a police response now leads to a series of qualifying questions from dispatchers first. Read more here.

PODCAST: Implementing the Police Reform & Reinvention Collaborative

This episode features a discussion on Executive Order 203, “The New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative.” Chatodd Floyd, Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy for Governor Andrew Cuomo recently joined a meeting of County Sheriffs and other county leaders to provide this update on implementation. NYSAC’s Counsel Patrick Cummings opens with an overview of the executive order and what the process looks like from the county perspective. Click here to listen to the full episode.

NYS Health Foundation Report: Mental Health Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic in New York State

Using survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau, a new NYSHealth report analyzes mental health in New York State during the pandemic. For example, in October 2020, 37% of adult New Yorkers reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression in the prior week. The report examines mental health by race and ethnicity, age, and household income, and compares symptoms among New Yorkers who did and did not experience a loss in household employment income during the pandemic. It also outlines current efforts underway as well as additional solutions to address the unmet need for mental health services in New York State. Read more here.


February 16, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

February 17, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

February 17, 2 - 4 pm, National Association of Counties

February 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

February 18, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

February 18, 3 - 4:30 pm, The Academy of Peer Services

February 22, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

February 24, 10 - 11 am, OMH

February 24, 12 - 1 pm, CCSI

February 24, 12 - 1:30 pm, MHTTC

February 24, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

February 25, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

February 25, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

February 26, 12 - 1 pm, MHTTC

March 2, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

March 2, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

March 3, 1 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA, NASMHPD

March 10, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

March 10, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

March 18, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

March 24, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

March 24, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

March 30, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

March 31, 2 - 3 pm, OMH


Children & Families Committee Meeting
February 16: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

CLMHD Membership Call
February 17: 9 - 10:30 am, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
February 18: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
February 23: 1 - 3 pm, GTM


Agency Day - OMH
March 2: 9:30 - 11:30 am, GTM

Agency Day - OASAS
March 3: 9:30 - 11:30 am, GTM

Agency Day - OPWDD
March 4: 9:30 - 11:30 am, GTM

Mental Health Committee Meeting
March 4: 3 - 4 pm, GTM

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting
March 11: 11 am - 12 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
March 16: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and GoToMeeting (GTM) information, 518.462.9422 
CLMHD Executive Director, Kelly Hansen, Featured on New York NOW

Kelly Hansen, CLMHD Executive Director, was interviewed recently by Dan Clark of New York NOW to discuss how potential funding cuts would negatively impact mental health/substance use services and supports across the state. To view the full episode, click here.
CLMHD Provides Testimony at Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2021-2022 Mental Hygiene Budget 

On Friday, February 5, Kelly Hansen, Executive Director of CLMHD, testified on behalf of the Conference at the 2021-2022 Joint Legislative Public Hearing on Mental Hygiene Budget, which was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here for CLMHD's written testimony.
Funding for Opioid Treatment Discussed During NYS Joint Legislative Budget Hearing

New York’s joint legislative session held the Mental Hygiene Hearing, the seventh of 13, on the 2020-2021 Executive Budget on Friday, February 5. Government officials and advocacy groups provided testimony to the Senate and Assembly fiscal committees regarding mental health funding.

The over-a-yearlong COVID-19 pandemic exasperated mental and behavioral health needs in the nation and in the state. Fatal overdoses increased across the nation and in New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 20 counties in the state reported increases in opioid-related deaths amid the pandemic- including
Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties.

Despite this, funding for mental and behavioral health services are being withheld due to the economic strain of the pandemic on New York’s budget.

Additional articles of interest: How States are Preparing for Opioid Settlement Funds

Governor Cuomo Announces Over $90 Million for Supportive Housing for Homeless Individuals and Families Across the State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced that $90.4 million in state funding has been awarded for 20 projects to house New Yorkers experiencing or at risk of homelessness and provide supportive services aimed at addressing the root causes of housing instability. The projects, supported through New York State's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, will create 629 units of permanent supportive housing, 30 units of transitional housing and 11 units of emergency housing that will serve veterans, survivors of domestic violence and individuals with mental illness. Read more here.

Tonko-Baldwin Medicaid Reentry Act Added to E&C Reconciliation
Bipartisan legislation enables states to restore Medicaid services for inmates 30 days before their release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko heralded news that his bipartisan Medicaid Reentry Act has been incorporated into the House Committee on Energy & Commerce budget reconciliation proposal. This legislation empowers states to restore access to addiction treatment through Medicaid for incarcerated individuals up to 30 days before their release and is sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the Senate with lead co-sponsors Representatives Mike Turner (R-OH), David Trone (D-MD) and David McKinley (R-WV) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN). The bill responds in part to alarming data that show individuals released from incarceration are 129 times more likely to die of a drug overdose during the first two weeks after release. Read more here.
Gillibrand Wants $10B for Mental Health, Substance Abuse Services in COVID Relief Bill

After a spike in drug overdose deaths and suicides during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is requesting billions in funding for a federal agency that aims to prevent and treat mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. 

Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee urging them to include $10 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the next COVID-19 relief bill. 

President Joe Biden and congressional leaders are working on a new $1.9 trillion relief package. Biden has released his proposal, but Congress could add funding for mental health and substance abuse services in the final legislation. Read more here.
Medicaid Managed Care: Further Reform Needed to Deliver on Promise

Evidence indicates a need for further reform in Medicaid managed care to ensure that private managed care organizations are improving spending, access, and quality outcomes for beneficiaries.

  • Private managed care organizations are increasingly responsible for administering Medicaid benefits across the United States, yet there is little research on how they affect access, spending, and care quality.
  • The limited research suggests that private managed care organizations may have slowed state spending growth but have not improved beneficiary care and may have reduced access for certain populations.
  • Further reforms are needed to enhance value in managed Medicaid as states increasingly contract with private managed care organizations.

Since beginning in the 1960s, Medicaid managed care has now been adopted in various forms by 48 US states, with private insurers (both nonprofit and for-profit) covering an increasing number of beneficiaries. Despite its widespread adoption, there is limited evidence on the relationships between Medicaid managed care and access, spending, and quality. Read more here.
Telehealth Services Are Expanding OUD Medication Access—For Some

Amid the pandemic, regulatory changes around buprenorphine access are making it easier for some people with opioid use disorder (OUD) to access the life-saving medication—yet some of the most vulnerable patients are still being left behind.

In December 2020, a bipartisan group of US Senators introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0. The act builds on the original CARA legislation from 2016, which authorized funding for a federal response to the nation’s opioid-involved overdose crisis. The bill is the latest effort at the federal level to expand telehealth services relating to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Read more here.

Additional article of interest: Audio-Only Telehealth for Low Income Patients Raises Quality, Equity, Reimbursement Concerns
Death by Suicide?
Drug overdoses muddy waters for investigators, amplify mental health crisis

Classifying a death as suicide may be easiest for medical examiners and coroners in the western United States, which reports the highest suicide rates officially. Suicide by firearm is the leading method there, and usually clear in terms of evidence.

By contrast, suicides by drug overdose, spurred primarily by the opioid epidemic in the remainder of the country, are less obvious to investigators.

But a new West Virginia University-led injury mortality study combines most drug overdose deaths with all suicides into an expanded self-injury category. Read more here.
Pandemic Hit Developmental Disability Providers Hard, Advocates Say

The providers of non-profit services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York are once again pushing state officials to ensure programs are fully funded for the state's most vulnerable residents. 

The push this year has taken on a greater degree of urgency, however, amid the COVID-19 pandemic as care providers have been hit especially hard by the crisis. Non-profit entities have faced steep costs as a result of the pandemic, including unreimbursed expenses they never counted on before the crisis struck.

Providers estimated that between payroll costs, personal protective equipment expenses, and revenue losses, the crisis has cost them a combined $513 million. Read more here.
How to Help When Adolescents Have Suicidal Thoughts

With some evidence suggesting that more adolescents have been reporting suicidal thoughts during the pandemic, experts and parents are looking for ways to help.

One issue is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet compiled and released statistics on suicide deaths, so it’s not clear whether the problem is worse than usual. But there are questions about whether suicide risks are increasing — especially in 
particular communities, like the Black and brown populations that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

Even during normal times, many mental health problems tend to emerge in adolescence, and young people in this group are particularly vulnerable to social isolation. In Las Vegas, an increase in the number of student suicides during the pandemic spurred the superintendent’s recent decision to reopen schools. Read more here.
With Frontline Workers Refusing Vaccination, Youth Residential Facilities Consider Future Mandates

Staff in group homes for vulnerable youth have faced pandemic trials like few others in America’s low-paid frontline workforce. 

Last spring brought a sudden halt to all the activities that set a daily rhythm for youth in need of structure. Employees who act as surrogate parents had to keep their distance and don the impersonal protective garb of an emergency room — if they were lucky enough to even find masks, gowns and gloves. 

When COVID-19 surged again in the summer, the workers supervised sick youth in “quarantine cottages” and called around in a desperate search for tests. Fall brought long days struggling to keep bored, isolated youth engaged with remote learning, stuck in a shrunken world that froze around them. 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)