January 20, 2022
Hochul's Budget Proposal Helps Health Care Industry, Focuses on Post-Pandemic New York

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday unveiled a $216.3 billion spending plan that focuses heavily on investments in a post-pandemic world.

She proposed $2 billion in pandemic relief funds, including $350 million for businesses as well as theater and musical arts, and $1.2 billion for bonuses for health care workers to help address the industry's recent workforce crunch. An additional $1.6 billion may be in the cards for upgrades for health care facilities. Read more here.
Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Announces $160M in Grants

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation has committed $160 million to 450 organizations that address the needs of low-income and vulnerable New Yorkers. Founded in 2018, the foundation has for the past two years focused on ameliorating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Daniel Frascella, chief programs and grants officer.

"We had done our first year of grants in 2019 and were gearing up for the second year when Covid started," Frascella said. "We tried to support a lot of early needs of the pandemic: staffing, PPE." Read more here.

HHS Announces Availability of $13 Million to Increase Behavioral Health Care Access in Rural Communities

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the availability of $13 million in funding to increase access to behavioral health care services and address health inequities in rural America, including through evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment for substance use disorder.

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will make awards through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) - Behavioral Health Care Support. Eligible applicants include entities such as Rural Health Clinics, federally recognized tribes, tribal organizations, and community- and faith-based organizations. Read more here.
City's Mental Health Crisis Response Pilot Set to Expand After Promising Start

The city's pilot program to dispatch social workers to address mental health calls instead of the police is ready to expand following a promising launch, but hiring roadblocks could threaten further growth.

The Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division was launched in June 2021 as part of former Mayor Bill de Blasio's office's attempts to mitigate police violence when addressing mental health crises. Establishing the initiative became a priority following Black Lives Matter protests in the city and nationwide over police brutality that led to the death of Eric Garner and George Floyd. Read more here.
How One Corrections Facility Is Linking Individuals to Addiction Treatment

At a New Jersey jail, access to medication for opioid use disorder is prioritized and tracked post-release

Claire R. Daniel oversees the medical and mental health nursing staff at Somerset County Jail in New Jersey, about 45 miles west of New York City, managing the program that delivers medication for opioid use disorder (OUD) for jail residents and for people re-entering their community post-release. Such programs are a key component of health care for individuals in the criminal legal system, with 65% of this population estimated to have a substance use disorder (SUD)—but the vast majority of these facilities don’t offer medication treatment. Read more here.

Inside a Pioneering U.S. Site Authorized to Monitor People Using Drugs

In tears, Kailin See recounts a story that would not have been possible just weeks before.

A man addicted to heroin, who otherwise would have injected himself alone, visited one of the country’s first authorized locations to use drugs with supervision in early December. He had a job interview later that day, hoping to earn two paychecks by Christmas so he could afford gifts for his children, he told staffers at the Washington Heights site. But when he drew the drugs into his veins, he began to nod off and go pale, a sign of what could have been a lethal overdose. The trained workers sprang into action, giving him oxygen. He quickly came to, said See, one of the main organizers of the site. Read more here.

New Regulations Have Potential to Remove Barriers to Care

On December 10, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration released its fall 2021 regulatory agenda. Many proposed regulatory actions can make a positive impact on behavioral healthcare delivery.

On the same day, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “Behavioral Health and COVID-19: Higher-Risk Populations and Related Federal Relief Funding,” and stated that the federal government has awarded $8 billion in COVID-19 relief funding specifically to address behavioral health needs. Such funding has been used, in part, to promote mental health awareness and provide federal funding to states, local communities, and other providers to support community-based mental health and substance use treatment and prevention services. While such funding is an integral part of delivering behavioral healthcare moving forward, there are still many federal regulations in place that impede behavioral health providers from delivering optimal care. Read more here.
Many States Unprepared to Roll Out National Suicide Prevention Hotline by This Summer: Report

A new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is scheduled to be live across the country this summer, expected to support text messages and phone calls, but most states are falling behind on implementing it.

In 2020 under former President Donald Trump, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was signed into law and requires every state in the country to implement the necessary telecommunications systems to allow anyone to call or text 988 to access the U.S. suicide hotline. States are required to have that number available to the public starting on July 16, 2022. Read more here.
Managing The Chronic & Complex Is Managing Care – A Trend Driving 2022 Strategy

What a difference a few decades make. Since the start of OPEN MINDS, we’ve been writing about why behavioral health matters to the overall health of consumers–and to overall health care spending. We published many analyses of why “parity” for behavioral health services wasn’t the “budget breaker” that opponents thought.

The Affordable Care Act brought the U.S. health care system closer to parity–also adding the elimination of preexisting condition clauses, annual and lifetime coverage limits, and medical loss ratio regulation–though the issue of non-quantitative treatment limits (NQTLs) still remains. This financial realignment suddenly included, rather than excluded, all the costs of behavioral and cognitive conditions–and their powerful magnifying effect on the cost of chronic health conditions. One subsequent analysis after the other has found that untreated behavioral and cognitive conditions increase the total cost of care. Read more here.
CSG Brief: Embedding Clinicians in the Criminal Justice System

Hiring clinicians to work with criminal justice agencies throughout the different intercepts in the justice system is one way that jurisdictions are working to improve their responses to people with mental health needs. Using the Sequential Intercept Model as the starting point for identifying where clinicians can be employed, this brief highlights ways that embedded clinicians can support mental health and criminal justice collaborations. It also provides specific examples of Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grantees successfully implementing clinician-embedded programs throughout the criminal justice system. Read the brief here.

January 20, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

January 20, 2 - 3 pm, National Judicial College

January 21, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

January 25, 1 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

January 26, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

January 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

January 26, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

January 27, 3 - 4 pm, PsychU

January 28, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

January 31, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

January 31, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

January 31, 2 - 3 pm, Social Current

February 1, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

February 8, 1 - 2 pm, NASHP

February 9, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

February 9, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

February 10, 12 - 1 pm, Social Current

February 10, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

February 16, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

February 16, 3 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

February 22, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

February 22, 3 - 4 pm, NACo

February 23, 1 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

February 24, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

February 24, 2:30 - 3:30 pm, HHRC

February 24, 3 - 4 pm, OMH


Executive Committee Call
February 2: 8 - 9 am

Mental Health Committee Meeting
February 3: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call
February 8: 10 - 11:30 am

Addictions Services & Recovery Meeting
February 10: 11 am - 12 pm

CLMHD Offices Closed - Lincoln's Birthday
February 11

Membership Call
February 16: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting
February 17: 1 - 3 pm

CLMHD Offices Closed - Washington's Birthday
February 21


OASAS Agency Day
March 7: 9:30 - 11:30 am

OMH Agency Day
March 8: 9:30 - 11:30 am

OPWDD Agency Day
March 9: 9:30 - 11:30 am

Addictions Services & Recovery Meeting
March 10: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting
March 10: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call
March 14: 10 - 11:30 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting
March 15: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
March 17: 1 - 2:30 pm
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)