March 31, 2022
Governor Hochul Announces $21 Million in Funding for Nation’s First Assertive Community Treatment Teams Dedicated to Children and Their Families

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced $21 million in funding awards for 15 Youth Assertive Community Treatment teams. New York is the first state in the nation to enact Youth Assertive Community Treatment teams, which serve children ages 10 to 21 and their families, providing services and support in the home and community settings. The teams allow young people who are at risk of entering residential or inpatient psychiatric treatment to receive services while remaining with their families and in their communities. Read more here.
Governor Hochul Announces Availability of Up to $3.5 Million to Expand Treatment Services for Substance Use Disorder in NYS

Governor Kathy Hochul last Friday announced the availability of up to $3.5 million for providers to develop Comprehensive Integrated Outpatient Treatment Programs. These programs will make it easier for New Yorkers seeking treatment for a substance use disorder to access multiple services in one location and will address the ongoing need for comprehensive treatment in New York State.

Up to 15 OASAS-licensed providers will be awarded funding to develop integrated outpatient treatment programs, including integrating existing outpatient programs and Opioid Treatment Programs, developing new OTPs to integrate with outpatient services, and expanding access in outpatient OTPs in order to provide services to people who are not receiving medication for addiction. Read more here.
White House Budget Proposes to ‘Transform Mental Healthcare,’ Allocates $4.8B to Related Initiatives

The Biden administration’s new federal budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes $4.77 billion to “transform mental health and substance use disorder coverage and infrastructure” in the country. On Monday, the White House released the budget for the federal fiscal year 2023, which begins on Oct. 1. The roughly $5.8 trillion budget seeks to encapsulate several priorities including the so-called “Unity Agenda” outlined in Biden’s State of the Union address at the beginning of the month. Read more here.
Cuomo Set Out to “Transform” Mental Health Care for Kids. Now They Can’t Get Treatment.

Moshe was in the hospital for the fourth time, and his mother, Rae, was desperate. It was the spring of 2021. Moshe was 12 years old, and he’d been admitted to a psychiatric unit for children at South Oaks Hospital, not far from his home on the North Shore of Long Island.

In itself, the hospitalization wasn’t a surprise. Moshe had tried to hang himself when he was 9 years old. Since then, he’d picked up a long list of mental health diagnoses, including ADHD, anxiety, major depressive disorder and a condition called oppositional defiant disorder. He’d been on and off an even longer list of medications, some of which just made his symptoms worse. Read more here.
State Efforts To Improve The Continuum Of Care For Substance Use Disorder And Opioid Use Disorder

Lessons Learned From The National Governors Association Substance Use Disorder Learning Collaborative In Six States

In June 2020, the National Governors Association (NGA) launched the Strengthening Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Systems of Care (SUD Learning Collaborative). The purpose of the SUD Learning Collaborative was to support Governors’ offices and other state officials in improving coordination across the continuum of prevention, treatment and recovery services for individuals affected by SUD and opioid use disorder (OUD). This collaborative aimed to further state efforts in developing and implementing evidence-based interventions that link individuals affected by SUD to care and treatment. Read more here.

Additional articles of interest: 2 Ways to Make Progress Against the Opioid Epidemic

Expansion of Kendra's Law Could Expand State's Power to Commit the Mentally Ill. Advocates Are Concerned.

A killing in New York City's subway system more than two decades ago resulted in Kendra's Law, a controversial legal change in which people with mental illness who refuse to take court-ordered medication can be temporarily committed to outpatient psychiatric care. It was named after Kendra Webdale, who was shoved from a subway platform to her death by a young man with schizophrenia. According to news reports from 1999, the measure was intended to balance the rights of those with mental illness and the safety of the general public. Signing it into law, Republican Gov. George Pataki called the legislative fight over the bill a "difficult thing." Read more here.
Planning For 988

Widespread concerns about suicide led to the passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act in 2020, which will make “988” the nationwide suicide prevention hotline to support suicide and mental health crises. On July 16, 2022, the 988 number will take effect, and be linked to the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline telephone number of 1-800-283-TALK (8255). The number is owned by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will be funded through two, five-year SAMHSA grants totaling $48 million, managed by Vibrant Emotional Health. The federal “988” Lifeline is built on a network of over 180 local accredited crisis calls centers across the country that will provide 24/7 telephone and web-based chat services, as well as limited SMS support for callers. Read more here.
Nursing Shortage Impacts Addiction Recovery Work, Experts Say

Mario Garcia had always been a social drinker, but when his father died, he said his drinking started spiraling.

“After that, the alcoholism got worse and went on for a couple of years,” Garcia, 42, said.

He lost his job, his wife and access to his kids, he said. That’s when he decided to make a change and enter a rehabilitation facility.

He’s been a patient of Phoenix House in Queens for about 90 days and said interactions with the nurses there can have a big impact on his treatment.. Read more here.
Psychiatrists See Low Merit-Based Incentive Payment System Scores

Psychiatrists had significantly lower performance scores, received more penalties, and earned fewer bonuses in the 2020 Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) compared to other outpatient physicians, according to a study published in JAMA Health Forum. Read more here.
American Journal of Public Health Releases Special Supplement on Global Opioid Crisis

Pieces in this supplement focus on the global opioid crisis, covering topics such as reducing drug-related harm, promoting health justice, and recounting lessons learned. Also included in this special issue are research and perspectives on methadone, drug consumption rooms, HIV-positive people who inject drugs, and more.
How Optum’s $5.4B LHC Group Acquisition Pushes Behavioral Health Toward Value-Based Care

Optum announced another blockbuster acquisition that demonstrates the ambition of its parent organization, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), to have a presence in a wide range of health care segments as it strives toward value-based care. And that ambition could have major effects on the behavioral health industry as Optum continues its dealmaking. Read more here.

Governor Hochul Announces $50 Million Available to Increase Student Access to Mental Health Services

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced up to $50 million in available funding for school districts to improve student access to mental health resources and assist students who have experienced trauma that has impacted their education. A Request for Proposals has been issued by the New York State Office of Mental Health, who will administer the program. Read more here.
New Ruling Undermines Battle to Require Parity in Insurance Coverage for Mental Health

A three-judge federal appeals court on Tuesday unanimously reversed a landmark trial court ruling that required the nation’s biggest behavioral health insurer to use generally accepted standards of care when evaluating claims for benefits, a major blow to efforts to require health insurers to cover care for mental health and substance use in ways that are broadly equivalent to that for medical care. Read more here.
Where to Find Funding to Help Make Every Day Take Back Day

Drug take-back sites and collection events like National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are key prevention tools for local governments, law enforcement agencies and coalitions nationwide. They play a crucial role in raising awareness about the importance of proper disposal of unused medications to prevent drugs from being misused, stolen or accidentally ingested. Unfortunately, not everyone has easy access to drop sites and unused medications can pile up between take-back events. Read more here.

March 31, 1 - 2 pm, Foothold Technology

March 31, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

March 31, 2 - 3:30 pm, CMS

April 4, 3 - 4 pm, NACo

April 5, 3 - 4:15 pm, CSG Justice Center

April 5-6, April 12-13, Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs

April 7, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

April 7, 1 - 2 pm, NASHP

April 7, 2 - 3:30 pm, CMS

April 12. 10 - 11 am, OMH

April 13, 2 - 3:30 pm, CMS

April 14, 2:30 - 4 pm, Transitions ACR

April 20, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

April 20, 3 - 4:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

April 20, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

April 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

April 26, 3 - 4 pm, NASHP

April 27, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

April 27, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

April 28, 11 am - 4 pm, NIH

April 28, 3 - 4 pm, OMH


Quarterly LGU Clinic Billing Staff Call
April 7: 2 - 3 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call
April 12: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services and Recovery Committee Meeting
April 14: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
April 14: 3 - 4 pm

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting
April 21-22, Embassy Suites, Saratoga Springs


Executive Committee Meeting
May 4: 8 am

LGU Clinic Operators Call
May 10: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services and Recovery Committee Meeting
May 12: 11 am - 12 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
May 12: 1 - 2:30 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
May 12: 3 - 4 pm

CLMHD Membership Call
May 18: 9 - 10:30 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting
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)