May 13, 2021
'We're Dealing with Victims': Ride-along Offers Glimpse at Anguished Work of Crisis Teams - Monroe County

While waiting for the OK from police to enter a scene in the Rochester's Maplewood neighborhood, Dré Johnson and Renee Brean, members of the city's new Person in Crisis team, found a spare moment for a snack.

The civilian-led crew, launched in January, provides a non-law enforcement aid to mental health and substance abuse crises in the city. Johnson and Brean are emergency response social workers.

Shifts can be brisk. The team averages 21 calls a day. Johnson said he and a partner have handled as many as 14 calls in one eight-hour shift.

So Brean and Johnson packed snacks and found quiet moments to fuel up when they could.

The Democrat and Chronicle was given behind-the-scenes access to the team during a recent ride-along. It provided an unvarnished look at how mental health professionals in plainclothes are changing the way people in crisis are connected with vital services. Read more here.
NYS Senator Sponsoring Bill to Better Track Overdoses

Health experts say a spike in drug overdoses is creating yet another health care crisis during the pandemic. Now, some legislators in New York are trying to make it easier to help those communities which are really struggling.

Albany County Department of Health Medical Director Dr. Elizabeth Whalen says the spike in drug overdoses during the pandemic has now become a health crisis.

“The rate of opiate overdoses have increased and increased to a troubling degree,” said Dr. Whalen.

“We are seeing more people in New York die of overdose than died on 9-11. As tragic as 9-11 was the opioid crisis on a yearly basis is now worse,” said (D) New York State Senator Pete Harckham. Read more here.
A Real Opportunity in the Fight Against Opioid Use Disorders

In a year in which the world’s attention has been fixed on the coronavirus, opioid overdoses and fatalities in the U.S. have continued to increase. The country’s overdose deaths from all drugs exceeded 87,000 in the 12 months ending in September 2020, a 27 percent increase from the previous 12 months that was largely driven by opioids. No state or region has been spared.

However, in the coming months and years, states, cities and counties will begin receiving funds from settlements and court rulings resulting from numerous lawsuits brought by those governments against drug companies, distributors and pharmacies over their role in the overdose crisis. Read more here.
Apply Now: Community of Practice on Community Supervision Strategies for People with Serious Mental Illnesses and Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is hosting a virtual Community of Practice focused on supporting counties in reducing recidivism among people on community supervision who have behavioral health needs. The Community of Practice will be led by CSG Justice Center policy and research staff, with featured presentations from research experts and peer counties. Participants will have opportunities for mutual learning and dialogue.

Upon completion of the Community of Practice, participants will be equipped with strategies they can use in their own communities to:

  1. Enhance how people are matched to services based on their risk and needs and create quality assurance mechanisms to review fidelity and effectiveness;
  2. Develop processes, policies, and practices that create or enhance supervision strategies that prioritize tailored intervention and crisis aversion, such as collaborative case management, specialized caseloads, and violence risk assessment;
  3. Strengthen efforts to connect people to housing; and
  4. Create tools that increase response options for technical violations, including substance use.

These sessions are supported with funds from the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program via the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

Dates: June 15, August 3, September 21, November 9
All sessions will take place 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET.

If you are interested in participatingsubmit this application by May 24, 2021.

May 13, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

May 13, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 13, 2 - 3:30 pm, NASMHPD

May 13, 2 - 3:30 pm, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and the MacArthur Foundation

May 17, 12:30 - 2 pm, CHCS

May 17, 3 - 4 pm, CMS

May 17, 3:30 - 5 pm, NASMHPD

May 18, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 19, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

May 19, 11 am - 12:30 pm, MHTTC

May 19, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

May 19, 4 - 5 pm, NAMI-NY

May 20, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

May 20, 2 - 3 pm, COSSAP

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

May 25, 12 - 1:30 pm,

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, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

June 2, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

June 10, 10 - 11 am, OMH

June 16, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

June 16, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

June 24, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

June 30, 10 - 11 am, OMH
The Technology Reshaping The Autism Market

New investment and consolidation in autism services is changing competition—and competitive advantage in the market. But there is another market factor that is reshaping the landscape—the use of technology. Looking at recent developments, there seem to be three emerging areas for technology investment—telehealth, new technology-based supports, and the emergence of the first virtual delivery system.

Increased acceptance of telehealth. While many professionals delivering applied behavioral analysis (ABA) services have questioned the efficacy of using telehealth, the pandemic has forced reconsideration of that model. Most health plans have offered temporary coverage of ABA services via telehealth. Over the past year, provider organization clinical managers developed some creative approaches to tech-enabled services. Read more here.


Children & Families Committee Meeting
May 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm

WEBINAR: 911 Diversion: Blueprint for Supporting Individuals in Mental Health Crisis: Broome County
May 20: 10 - 11:30 am

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
New York Governments are Getting $24 Billion in Stimulus Aid. Here's Where it is Headed

Let the stimulus money flow. About $24 billion in federal aid from the American Rescue Plan will start heading to New York governments this week, the U.S Treasury announced Monday.

The windfall, part of $350 billion nationally for state and local governments, will be a boon for the state government, cities and large towns, allowing them to close budget gaps and stave off funding cuts after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses and crippled the economy.

"This funding puts the power in the hands of the people and enables local governments to build back stronger, safer, and healthier," Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, said in a statement.

The money can be used to support public health efforts, address fiscal shortfalls, fund infrastructure and boost pay of essential workers, lawmakers said. Read more here.
OMH/OASAS Vaccination Program Partnership Administers 70,000 Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine to Clients and Staff

A vaccination program developed and managed by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) in partnership with the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), has administered more than 70,000 COVID-19 vaccines to clients and staff of the two agencies, as well as those from other health and human services agencies, including the Offices for People with Developmental Disabilities, Children and Family Services, and Temporary and Disability Assistance.

The “O-Agency Link-Outreach-Vaccinate” (O-LOV) program offers COVID-19 vaccines to all staff and clients served in New York State voluntary healthcare provider programs. Read more here.
CLMHD Data Tool Helps Address Community Mental Health Needs by Facilitating Service Connection and Reengagement of Criminal Justice-Involved Individuals 

In 2020 CLMHD and CCSI created a web-based PSYCKES Criminal Justice Interactive Data Match Tool to connect persons involved with the Criminal Justice system and who are also noted in PSYCKES to be in need of services and/or have previously accessed services.

The tool is design for the Counties/Local Governmental Units (LGU’s), County Jails, Local County/City Courts systems to collaborate and identify individuals who require connection/re-connection to care.

• Reduce Recidivism - Individuals affected by mental illness and/or substance use disorders often encounter the criminal justice system due to absent or ineffective treatment. Engagement/re-engagement in appropriate supports/services will reduce recidivism.

• Proactive - The Tool utilizes jail rosters/ arraignment lists and PSYCKES data to create possible diversion opportunities for individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and incarcerated individuals re-entering back into the community, by reconnecting/connecting them with appropriate supports/services.

• Utilize - The data is used in a way that helps to reduce recidivism and facilitates connections to mental health and/or substance use services to achieve success while residing in their communities.

• Match – Identify matched individuals will be supported to connect/re-connection to identified Health and Recovery Plans (HARPs), Health Home (HHs), Care Management Agencies (CMAs), Assistive Community Treatment (ACT), Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), prior connection to a NYS operated Psychiatric Center, and/or OMH unsuccessful discharge via PSYKES data.

• Connect - Connections to community-based services during an individual’s transition back into the community and/or at arraignment can assist in addressing behavioral health needs, employment, housing and medical needs and reduce recidivism.​

Contact your County Mental Health Commissioner / Director now to discuss how this tool can benefit your local community!
Funding Opportunity: Second Chance Act Pay for Success Initiative

Grants to provide reentry services and programs to reduce recidivism and combat violence by facilitating the successful reintegration of individuals returning from incarceration, especially those with substance use disorders. Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories

Application Deadline: Jun 22, 2021
As States Push for Police Accountability, Advocates Focus on Black Trauma

When a jury convicted former officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, a Black man, by pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, the Rev. Earle Fisher was unsure how to process the news—an uneasiness felt by many Black Americans.

He turned to his church sanctuary in Memphis, Tennessee, and preached a sermon on pain and the legacy of Black trauma. His remarks focused on the countless deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police officers and the importance of therapy, he said.

“I always try to ensure that we don’t provide some cheap or trite spiritualized solution to mental health,” said Fisher, the pastor of Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis. “We don’t say, ‘Just pray about it.’ I encourage people to get therapy.” Read more here.

As States Continue To Experiment In Medicaid, Look To Section 1115 Waiver Evaluations To Understand What Works

Flexibility and innovation have long been central tenets of Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care coverage to more than 77 million Americans. Through Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers, states are allowed to make programmatic changes that are not otherwise permitted under federal law, provided the changes promote the goals of the Medicaid program and are budget neutral. Over the years, states have used 1115 waivers in many different ways, reflecting changing priorities of states and presidential administrations.

With this flexibility comes the requirement that 1115 waiver demonstrations be monitored and evaluated so that evidence on these experiments can inform future Medicaid policy. Yet, waiver evaluations have sometimes received short shrift, prompting some to raise concerns about the quality, timeliness, and usefulness of evaluation results. Read more here.
National Council Announces Name Change: Organization will Rebrand as National Council for Mental Wellbeing

The National Council for Behavioral Health today announced it has changed its name to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in response to changes in the fields of mental health and substance use treatment and the need to define more accurately the work of nearly 3,500 member organizations.

The change takes effect immediately.

“By changing our name, we are changing the conversation,” National Council for Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia said. “Not only is the National Council for Mental Wellbeing inclusive of mental health and substance use, our new name boldly states our goal – to make mental wellbeing a reality for everyone. Read more here.
Strategies for the Physical-Behavioral Healthcare Integration Puzzle

Physical and behavioral healthcare integration is a key aim for many private payers, but progress has been slow.

Brett Hart, chief behavioral health officer at Centene, has more than 20 years of managed care leadership experience and is also a licensed psychologist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. As such, he is very familiar with the healthcare industry’s challenges in addressing behavioral healthcare.

“It's important to really rewind a bit and look at the history of behavioral health as it has existed over the last 30, 40 years—and has even persisted into the last few years. That's a history marked by behavioral health being carved out of most health plans and being disconnected and fragmented,” Hart told Healthcare Strategies. Read more here.
Across US, Most Counties Have No Behavior Therapists

Access to behavior therapists is woefully lacking in many places, with a new study finding that more than half of the nation’s counties don’t have a single one.

Even in communities with board-certified behavior analysts, or BCBAs, the number of providers available to serve each child with autism varies greatly, researchers found.

The findings come from a study published recently in the journal Autism that looked at all 3,108 counties in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. Read more here.
Telehealth Utilization Falls 16% Nationally from Jan - Feb 2021

Telehealth claim lines fell 15.7 percent nationally, decreasing from 7 percent of medical claim lines in January 2021 to 5.9 percent in February, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. It was the first month-to-month drop in national telehealth utilization since September 2020. Telehealth usage also declined in all four US census regions, with the greatest drop in the West, where the decrease was 18.3 percent. The data represent the privately insured population, excluding Medicare and Medicaid. Read more here.
States Expand Medicaid Reimbursement of School-Based Telehealth Services

During the COVID-19 pandemic, students have faced disruptions in access to school-based physical and behavioral health services as schools shifted from in-person to virtual learning. Many schools adapted by delivering services through telehealth and states implemented policies that allow Medicaid to reimburse for school-based telehealth services to support the health needs of students. These policies promote access to critical health services for students and support schools in meeting federal requirements to provide services to students with disabilities while reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission.

These maps and the accompanying chart highlight the types of school-based telehealth services that states reimbursed through Medicaid prior to COVID-19, and policy changes during the pandemic. This issue brief, States Expand Medicaid Reimbursement of School-Based Telehealth Services, discusses these policies and key considerations for states during and beyond the pandemic.
Therapy on Aisle 7: Retailers Are Entering the Mental Health Market

Finding a therapist can be a tough and time-consuming process involving multiple phone calls, waiting lists and insurance hurdles.

But what if you were able to walk into your corner drugstore for a bottle of shampoo and also had the option of scheduling a walk-in session for mental health treatment?

That’s the future that CVS, the largest retail pharmacy in the United States, is envisioning. Since January the company has added licensed clinical social workers trained in cognitive behavioral therapy to 13 locations in the Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa metro areas. 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)