February 5, 2021
New York Advocates Push Back on Governor’s Proposed Cuts to Preventive Services

Facing a projected budget shortfall of more than $10 billion in the upcoming fiscal year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has proposed cuts to state funding for services to help struggling families stay together and prevent their children from being removed to foster care. 

But child welfare advocates statewide are gearing up to fight the proposed cuts — which land just nine months before the state must comply with a landmark federal law prioritizing investment in family support and prevention services.

“COVID-19 has brought into high relief what we have long known: for children to thrive, they need a strong family and systems that are aligned, coordinated, and well-resourced,” Kate Breslin, president and CEO of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, wrote in a statement released Friday. Read more here.
To Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution, Engage Behavioral Health Providers

States’ distribution plans for COVID-19 vaccines currently outline strategies to reach health care workers, long-term care facilities, and some priority populations, but most do not explicitly address populations with serious mental illness and chronic substance use disorders. Many such people are vulnerable to COVID-19 because they receive treatment in residential or inpatient facilities or live in shared housing or congregate care, places where the virus has been shown to spread quickly. They have high rates of comorbid physical health conditions that place them at risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes, and there is also compelling evidence of higher COVID-19 mortality among people who were recently diagnosed with a mental disorder. As states refine their plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, they should engage behavioral health providers to develop strategies to reach the populations they serve. Read more here.
Nominate Someone Who is Great in Our State!

As part of the 2021 New York State What's Great in Our State (WGiOS) celebration on May 4, 2021, the planning committee for the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event is seeking nominations to honor individuals, communities, schools, and organizations across New York State that are making a difference in the field of children and youth mental health.
The last year has been one of extraordinary challenges. It is even more important this year to recognize the individuals, programs, and organizations who have worked to meet those challenges and who are creative, passionate and dedicated in supporting the mental health of children, youth and families.  
Click here to complete a nomination form. The deadline for nominations is March 3, 2021. Please submit nominations to Kate Provencher via email at Kathryn.Provencher@omh.ny.gov.

February 8, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health

February 8, 2 - 3 pm, COSSAP

February 8, 3:30 - 5 pm, MCTAC/CTAC

February 9, 2 - 3 pm, Families Together in NYS, Youth Power!

February 10, 10 - 11 am, OMH

February 10, 2 - 3 pm, COSSAP

February 10, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

February 11, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

February 17, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

February 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

February 18, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

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

February 24, 10 - 11 am, OMH

February 24, 12 - 1 pm, CCSI

Baby Boomers and Substance Misuse: What you need to know and what you can do about it
February 25, 2 - 4 pm

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

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


Quarterly LGU Clinic Operators Call
February 9: 10 - 11 am, GTM

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

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

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and GoToMeeting (GTM) information, 518.462.9422 
Consulting Giant McKinsey To Settle States' Opioid Claims For $573 Million

McKinsey & Company has reached a $573 million settlement with nearly 50 state governments as well as the District of Columbia and territories, over its role helping to market and boost sales of high-risk opioids including OxyContin.

Most of the funds will be devoted to paying for treatment and rehabilitation programs in communities devastated by the addiction crisis. As part of the settlement, McKinsey admits to no wrongdoing.

This deal heads off civil lawsuits threatened by state attorneys general. Read more here.

Additional article of interest: New York to Receive $32M in Opioid Settlement Funds
New Legislation Would Change 911 Response to a Mental Health Crisis. Here’s How.

“Daniel’s Law” was introduced by lawmakers on Thursday as a way to change how law enforcement responds to mental health 911 calls. 

This move comes after a national spotlight was shone this past year on how brutal police interactions can be with those struggling with mental illness.

The bill is named after Daniel Prude, a Rochester man who died after his interaction with police in March of last year.

Now, after the most recent incident of a 9-year-old girl getting handcuffed and peppersprayed in Rochester police custody, Daniel’s brother, Joe Prude, said action needs to be taken on this bill. Read more here.

A Letter From Washington Shrinks New York’s Budget Gap by $2 Billion or More

The Biden administration appears to have shaved $2 billion or more off New York’s budget gap with a boost in Medicaid funding that does not need congressional approval.

In a letter to governors on Jan. 22 – two days after President Biden’s inauguration – the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that the pandemic-related federal public health emergency “will likely remain in place for the entirety of 2021.”

That has the effect of extending an increase in Medicaid funding that was part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a relief package enacted in March 2020. The bill added 6.2 percentage points to federal matching aid for the program, worth about $1 billion per fiscal quarter to state coffers, until after the pandemic emergency declaration is ended. Read more here.
Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million in Awards to Finance Construction and Services for 1,200 Supportive Housing Units

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced the fifth round of awards from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, which will provide $30 million annually to fund support services and operating costs for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs, conditions or other challenges. The 179 conditional awards will help 104 community providers create housing opportunities in 41 counties across New York. The conditional awards provide service and operating funding for permanent supportive housing units. The awards will allow applicants to secure separate capital funding to finance the development and construction of their housing projects. The conditional awards can be found listed by region and county here.
How States Access and Deploy Data to Improve SUD Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

The nation’s substance use disorder (SUD) epidemic poses unique challenges for policymakers working to understand and apply data – which often exists in disparate systems – to guide their treatment and interventions. States, localities, and organizations need to access and generate reliable data, not just in health and behavioral health care, but in workforce, criminal justice, social services, and other systems to design successful SUD interventions.

Many data sets produced by state and federal agencies have value when used individually, but when data can be shared and presented in new ways, it begins to tell a more comprehensive story of the particular and highly localized impact of SUD across systems and populations.

This report describes the uses and limitations of commonly available data sets that can stand alone or be used in conjunction with other data to answer common questions posed by state and local leaders.
Rising Stimulant Drug Deaths Started Long Before Pandemic

Cocaine-, methamphetamine-, and amphetamine-involved death rates doubled about every 4 years since 2010, an analysis of death certificates showed.

The mortality rate involving all stimulants, medical and illicit, rose from 2.913 deaths per 100,000 population in 2010 to 9.690 in 2017, reported Joshua Black, PhD, of Denver Health's Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety division in Colorado, and co-authors.

Mortality rates increased for methamphetamine (annual rate ratio 1.278, 95% CI 1.261-1.295), cocaine (ARR 1.234, 95% CI 1.222-1.245), and amphetamine (ARR 1.118, 95% CI 1.082-1.155), they wrote in a JAMA Internal Medicine research letter. Read more here.
The Surgeon General Releases Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

On January 19th, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG)—in collaboration with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance)—released The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.  This new report outlines the actions that communities and individuals can take to reduce the rates of suicide and help improve resilience.

Suicide is one of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., claiming more than 47,000 lives in 2019 alone, and the rates of suicide have risen more than 30 percent between 1999-2019. With so many individuals facing economic hardship and social isolation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are indicating increased mental health concerns. And while we don't know yet what, if any, impact the pandemic will have on suicide rates, the time to act is now. Read more here.
Justice Center Releases New Abuse Prevention Resources

Code of Conduct Train the Trainer Sessions: The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) has teamed with the New York State Justice Center to develop an interactive train-the-trainer curriculum designed to assist organizations teach the New York State Justice Center's Code of Conduct. The objective of the curriculum is to ensure that staff who support people served under the jurisdiction of the New York State Justice Center understand the Code of Conduct as a framework of professional conduct. This interactive 3-hour webinar provides participants with tools they can share with new and seasoned staff to prepare them to understand, utilize, and practice the Code of Conduct. The sessions will be offered in April, May and June. Participants in this training should include trainers, quality assurance administrators, human resource professionals, and anyone that will be able to bring this curriculum to life in their respective organizations/agencies. To find out more and register for one of the sessions, click here.

New Spotlight on Prevention Toolkits: The information contained in the Justice Center’s Spotlight on Prevention toolkits is offered as a resource for provider agencies and staff. These resources are intended to be used as a guide that may be modified as needed to apply to particular types of programs and specific age groups of vulnerable people. Recently we added a toolkit on the safety benefits of GPS devices and updated the dangers of caregiver fatigue toolkit. Spotlight on Prevention Toolkits can be found on the Justice Center website and by clicking here.
Addressing Social Needs Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey of Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans

COVID-19 has hit some populations harder than others. This includes people of color, residents of nursing facilities and other congregate settings, and individuals with multiple chronic medical conditions. People in these groups are often dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid because they have a disability or are age 65 or older, and also have low incomes. Recent federal data show that dually eligible individuals are more likely to contract COVID-19 than Medicare-only beneficiaries and are hospitalized with COVID-19-related complications more than four times as often.

Dually eligible individuals also frequently have
significant social risk factors, which if addressed, could improve their access to care, health outcomes, and quality of life. With support from Arnold Ventures, the Center for Health Care Strategies recently partnered with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) to examine how its Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) members were addressing their enrollees’ social risk factors. 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)