CNY Network Gets $1.8M in State Funds to Fight Addiction, Boost Treatment Services

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports has awarded a network of 10 prevention, treatment, and recovery providers in the Central Region with more than $1.8 million to respond to the opioid and stimulant use crisis, according to a release.

The network will be facilitated by the Central New York Behavioral Health Care Collaborative, a network of over 35 behavioral and physical health providers specializing in substance use, and, will serve Cayuga, Onondaga, Oswego, and Oneida counties. Read more here.

'What’s The Point?': A Year After COVID Shut Down NYC Schools, Many Students Struggle To Cope

It’s been a year since New York City students experienced a normal day of school. As the pandemic abruptly turned life upside down around the world, roughly a million public school kids in NYC were thrust into a wildly inconsistent learning environment, with repeated openings and closings of school buildings and systemwide shifts to online learning as COVID-19 rates surge. The uncertainty amidst the pandemic has caused widespread reports of stress, anxiety and intense mental anguish among students -- with no definitive end in sight.

One second grader anxiously asks her mom every morning if she’s gotten a call from school about another case that shuts down the building. A teenager who enjoys remote learning has lost crucial engagement and socialization skills, preferring to tackle assignments alone in his bedroom and avoiding group projects. Another student said he has stopped commuting to Brooklyn Tech’s campus because his parents are worried about the rise in anti-Asian bias crimes and prefer to keep him home. Read more here.
Implementing Specialized Caseloads to Reduce Recidivism for People with Co-Occurring Disorders 

Probation departments have used specialized caseloads for years as a way to tailor supervision and better address the specific needs of people at a high risk to reoffend or who belong to certain populations. With these focused caseloads, officers are able to
dedicate more time and attention to their cases while also applying targeted supervision and treatment strategies designed to reduce recidivism among their clients.

Many criminal justice leaders are now beginning to look to specialized caseloads as a tool for reducing recidivism among people who have mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders—referred
to in this brief as having co-occurring disorders. These individuals, who usually require extensive treatment and services to address their needs, also benefit from a combination of specially trained probation staff working with behavioral health professionals to apply evidence-based practices—a hallmark of specialized caseloads. Read more here.
FY 2021 Second Chance Act Pay for Success Initiative

This program provides funding for state, local, and tribal governments to enhance or implement performance-based and outcomes-based contracts with reentry, permanent supportive housing, or recovery housing providers to reduce recidivism and address the substance use disorders impacting formerly incarcerated people. Read more here. Deadline: April 16, 2021
JustGrants Application Deadline: April 30, 2021

March 22, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

March 23, 11 am - 12 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

March 23, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

March 23, 1 - 2 pm, The National Center for Complex and Social Needs

March 24, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

March 24, 2:30 - 4, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

March 24, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

March 24, 12 - 2 pm, OMH Suicide Prevention Office

March 25, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

March 25, 1 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA

March 25, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

March 25, 2 - 3 pm, COSSAP

March 25, 2 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

March 25, 3:30 - 5 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

March 29, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH and The Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration

March 30, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

March 30, 1 - 1:30 pm, NIMH

March 31, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

March 31, 2 - 3:15 pm, COSSAP

April 6, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

April 7, 10 11 am, OMH

April 14, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

April 14, 2 - 3:15 pm, COSSAP

April 19, 2 - 3:30 pm, CCSI

April 20, 1 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

April 11, 10 - 11 am, OMH

April 22, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Save the Date**: April 21 - 22, CCSI
**Registration link to be shared at a later date

April 27, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH


LGU Billing Staff Call
April 1: 2 - 3 pm, GTM

Executive Committee Meeting
April 7: 8 - 9 am, GTM

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting
April 8: 11 am - 12 pm, GTM

LGU Clinic Operators Call
April 13: 10 - 11:30 am, GTM

Developmental Disabilities Meeting
April 15: 1 - 2:30 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
April 20: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and GoToMeeting (GTM) information, 518.462.9422 
Monroe County to Boost Mental Health Team Staffing

Monroe County will boost staffing for its Forensic Intervention Team (FIT), which is called to mental health scenes by law enforcement, County Executive Adam Bello announced Tuesday.

During a briefing Tuesday, Bello said the team will now have 28 full-time employees, an increase of 18 new employees. He said the move will help connect people in need of behavioral health support with treatment, and reduce the need for "interaction" with emergency responders.

Bello was joined by Deputy County Executive for Health and Human Services Corinda Crossdale, Undersheriff Korey Brown, Fairport Police Chief Sam Farina, and Office of Mental Health Director Dr. April Aycock. Read more here.

Additional articles of interest: FIT team's role often misunderstood

Senate Passes the ‘HALT’ Solitary Confinement Act

On Thursday, the Senate passed the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT). Sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar, this legislation (S.2836) limits the use of segregated confinement for all incarcerated persons to 15 days, implements alternative rehabilitative measures, including the creation of Residential Rehabilitation Units (RRU), expands the definition of segregated confinement, and eliminates the use of segregated confinement for vulnerable incarcerated populations. Additionally, this bill establishes guidelines for humane conditions in segregated confinement, outlines reporting requirements, and adds due process protections by prohibiting placement in segregated confinement prior to a disciplinary hearing and by allowing access to counsel. Read more here.

Rep. Harry Bronson Sponsoring Bill to Allow Mental Health Counselors to Diagnose Patients

Assemblyman Harry Bronson is sponsoring a bill that would give mental health counselors the ability to diagnose patients. Currently, all mental health counselors in New York state can’t legally diagnose patients without a psychiatrist or other provider signing off.

Bronson said this bill will make mental health in general more accessible and equitable. “If we are able to allow those folks to offer diagnosis in all parts of the state, that’s gonna address the mental health shortage that we currently have,” he said.

Deanna Ferguson is a lead therapist at the Rochester Mental Health Center. She said mental health counselors in NYS have been fighting for a bill like this for a long time. Read more here.
New Report: Communities Creating Mental Health Crisis Systems 

A groundbreaking new report from the Committee on Psychiatry and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry and released by the National Council for Behavioral Health, outlines the steps we must take now – before the launch of 9-8-8 – to ensure people in crisis receive the high-quality behavioral health services they need. The report, “Roadmap to the Ideal Crisis System,” provides a detailed vision for communities creating mental health crisis systems to guide this important work. Read the full report or the executive summary.
Pharmacological Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder Also Reduces Risk for Alcohol-Related Hospitalization

Study data published in JAMA Network Open suggest that medications used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) may also reduce the risk for alcohol-related acute events. In a nationwide study of patients with OUD, buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone were each associated with substantially reduced risk for subsequent alcohol-related hospital admissions. These data support the use of OUD pharmacologic treatment for patients with co-occurring OUD and alcohol use disorder (AUD).  

Investigators conducted a case-control cohort study using prescription claims extracted from the IBM MarketScan Insurance databases between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2016. The analytic sample comprised individuals aged 12-64 years in the United States with a diagnosis of OUD.

Eligible patients had received an OUD medication at least once and had at least 1 prior alcohol-related hospital admission. Patients entered the cohort at the first event subsequent to first initiation of OUD. Read more here.
Healthcare Reform Has a Need for Psychiatric Leadership

Healthcare reformers try to convince us that transforming our giant healthcare system is achievable. A recent effort in Health Affairs starts by framing the magnitude – our $3.7 trillion healthcare system is larger than the total economy of all but three countries – and then suggests we chip away at the excess 1% at a time. This will hopefully add up to big change eventually.

While this may not reassure many people, it does reinforce an important point. Advocates for change must stay realistic. Strategic plans are essential but insufficient. Attend to practical issues. For instance, are all key players at the leadership table? This question has relevance in my work toward consolidation with primary care. Where are the psychiatrists? Can reform succeed without them? Read more here.
Telehealth as a Tool to Keep People with Disabilities Out of the Hospital
One New York-based managed care organization used telemedicine to decrease emergency department visits among its members.

People with intellectual or developmental disabilities are disproportionately likely to visit the emergency department. Unfortunately, when they get there, users often report unsatisfactory care.

Those with IDD may have trauma relating to hospitals, can be sensitive to change, encounter discrimination or face hurdles with communication – all of which can contribute to adverse experiences in a medical setting.  

In other words, said Dr. Stephan Deutsch, chief medical officer at Partners Health Plan, people with IDD can "go downhill with hospital admission."

Based in New York State, Partners Health Plan is a managed care organization that is solely dedicated to providing support and services for persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Read more here.
Survey Data Highlight Positive Attitudes About Telepsychiatry Among Providers

Study data published in Psychiatric Services outline mental health care providers’ perspectives on telepsychiatry during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a survey conducted at 18 mental health centers around the United States, a significant proportion of providers endorsed the use of telepsychiatry, citing flexible scheduling and timely start as advantages. Over half (64%) of survey participants indicated that they planned to continue using telepsychiatry in some capacity after the resolution of the pandemic. Read more here.
The Boom in Out-of-State Telehealth Threatens In-State Providers

HELENA, Mont. — When the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation began offering telehealth services in Montana in early February, the nation’s largest nonprofit addiction treatment provider promised quality care for far-flung residents without their even having to leave home.

That promise was what Montana and more than 40 other states had in mind when they temporarily relaxed rules restricting telehealth services and allowed out-of-state providers to hold remote patient visits for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic.

A year into the pandemic, telehealth has become widely accepted. Some states are now looking to make permanent the measures that have fueled its growth. But with it have come some unintended consequences, such as a rise in fraud, potential access problems for vulnerable groups and conflicts between out-of-state and in-state health providers. Read more here.
Anxious, Suicidal Teens Often End Up in Overwhelmed ERs. How Can We Improve Systems to Help Everyone?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental to the mental well-being of children and teens across America and experts are ringing the alarm. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 12 to 17 year-olds in the United States and the adolescent suicide death rate has steadily increased in the last decade.

With the impact of the pandemic, particularly on young people, deficiencies and lack of capacity in the mental health system have been brought to light. Like other aspects of the pandemic, this has disproportionally impacted communities of color. Youth with mental health concerns are brought to emergency departments (ED) as a last resort for mental health emergencies. As the number of children presenting with stress, anxiety, and depression has skyrocketed throughout the country, EDs are overwhelmed and struggling to adjust and cope with the need for psychiatric services. Many ED providers feel inadequately trained or prepared to manage this incredible demand. Read more here.

Tech for VBR—It’s All About The Data

As payers move to more value-based contracting, the question for most provider organization executive teams is whether their organization is prepared to succeed in a world that moves past fee-for-service. One key ingredient in that preparation is an adequate technology infrastructure. OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Ken Carr said, “In moving from fee-for-service models to VBR, provider organizations have to make the leap from a commodity approach (getting paid for delivering a service) to an outcomes approach (getting paid for making an impact). That requires a shift in business model and a shift in technology. Organizations need the right technology to drive outcomes and demonstrate those outcomes.”

Joe Dan Beavers, President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeSkills, Inc. and Carolyn Spence, Chief Information Officer of Alexander Youth Network (AYN) presented case studies of their organizations—and their current (and ongoing) journey from fee-for-service models to reimbursement based on value. Both executives outlined their path to success and their investments in technology—and both agreed that it’s not the technology per se, but the data that is the linchpin. 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)