On behalf of the NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, Happy Holidays!

December 21, 2022

NYS OASAS Announces Opening of New Integrated Opioid Treatment Program on Long Island

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) today announced the opening of a new Integrated Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) on Long Island. The facility, operated by Outreach Development Corporation, will operate six days a week, providing addiction treatment and resources to people on Long Island. This program is being supported with a one-time grant of $206,000 in federal funding administered by OASAS, as well as more than $1.1 million in annual state funding. Read more here.

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

On Monday, the Biden-Harris Administration released All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, which sets a bold but achievable goal to reduce homelessness 25% by 2025. The plan is the most ambitious effort by any administration to prevent people from becoming homeless, address inequities that disproportionately impact underserved communities, including people of color and other marginalized groups, and help cities and states reduce unsheltered homelessness. To reach that goal, All In outlines new strategies to prevent homelessness and increase the supply of housing with supportive services. Read more here.

Harckham Introduces Bill to Greatly Expand Access to Lifesaving Fentanyl Testing Kits

In response to rising opioid deaths, New York State Senator Pete Harckham introduced today new legislation that will allow pharmacists to dispense testing kits to detect fentanyl. A powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl was the cause of 87.8% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths—over 70,600 people—in 2021, according to a new report. Read more here.

Related: Drug Overdose Deaths Among Teenagers Surged During the Pandemic Driven by Illicit Fentanyl

As Fentanyl Use Spikes, Feds Urge States to Ease Methadone Rules

Drug Overdose Deaths among Teenagers Surged During the Pandemic Driven By Illicit Fentanyl

Drug overdose deaths among adolescents surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, driven overwhelmingly by illicit fentanyl, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monthly drug overdose deaths nearly tripled among adolescents ages 10 to 19 during the first two years of the pandemic. Deaths rose from 31 in July 2019 to a peak of 87 in May 2021 and then fell to 51 in December 2021. Read more here.

Brouk Introduces Bill to Establish Annual COLA for Mental Health Workers

State Sen. Samra Brouk, who represents the Rochester area, introduced a bill last Wednesday that would establish an annual cost-of-living adjustment for mental health workers in several state offices. Since she has served as chair of the Senate Mental Health Committee, Brouk said, she has learned that there’s no guaranteed cost-of-living adjustment for the state’s mental health workforce, and that the 1% adjustment workers got in fiscal 2021-22 was the first in about 12 years. Read more here.

Use of 'Red Flag' Law Jumps Following Governor's Directive

The man was prone to fights — verbal and physical, often with family members and sometimes ending with legal consequences. Over the past two years, he had been arrested for damaging the fender of his aunt's pickup truck and for throwing and then damaging his neighbor's chairs and a planter. 

The man, described by the court in Saratoga County as "B.K.," got into an argument in July with another person over paying the insurance cost for a pickup truck. He allegedly threatened to beat up the person's girlfriend and family. And then he took a metal baseball bat from the truck and swung it at her, saying he would "smash (her) head in." He struck a length of deck railing instead. Read more here.

The Trevor Project Releases New State-Level Data on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, Victimization, & Access to Support

The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, published its first-ever state-level analysis of LGBTQ youth mental health in all 50 states. Based on The Trevor Project’s most recent national survey, which captured the experiences of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 in the U.S., these data provide critical insights into the suicide risk, barriers to mental health care, anti-LGBTQ victimization, and negative impacts of recent politics reported by LGBTQ youth. These data also point to ways in which people can support the LGBTQ youth in their lives by highlighting access to accepting communities, LGBTQ-affirming spaces, and social support among family and friends — protective factors that are consistently associated with lower suicide risk. Read more here.

Peer Support Specialist Software Helps Address Social Determinants of Health

It’s no secret that it’s harder, if not impossible, for people to meaningfully engage in mental health treatment when their immediate needs aren’t met, including safe housing, food, money, and transportation. However, there are other common, often related, barriers to care—racism, stigma, lack of culturally competent care, and resource and workforce shortages. Currently, 157 million people live in federally designated mental health workforce shortage areas.  Kaveh Sedehi, founder and CEO of Emissary Health, a digital peer support platform, says peer services help mitigate obstacles to care, including those created or exacerbated by social determinants of health. Read more here.

ALBANY: Albany LEAD: A diversion program that’s growing

ALBANY: Albany County reconvenes its opioid task force

ALLEGANY/STEUBEN: The Arc Allegany-Steuben Awarded $25,540 in Grants from NYSARC Trust Services

BROOME: Chenango Valley’s mental health cooldown room

CHAUTAUQUA: County ‘Seeing Fentanyl More In The Streets’

ERIE: Buffalo's lone mental health ER overwhelmed as patients, families question conditions

ERIE: ECMC says it is taking steps to improve overwhelmed mental health ER

ERIE: Governor Hochul Announces Completion of $20 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in East Buffalo

GENESEE: BCSD awarded $12,500 for suicide prevention efforts

GENESEE: More than a village, it takes a Genesee County team to mitigate threats of violence

JEFFERSON: What’s to become of Watertown’s temporary homeless shelter?

MONROE: New MCC program aims to meet demand for mental health services

NYC: Governor Hochul Announces Availability of $7.2 Million for Residential Step-Down Housing in New York City

NYC: Few Homeless New Yorkers Moving from Subways to Safe Havens, As Enforcement Continues

NYC: NYC Health + Hospitals Celebrates Its Peer Academy’s First Year

NYC: Governor Hochul Announces Transformative $1.2 Billion Development to Create 2,400 Affordable Homes, Medical Clinic, Retail in East New York

ONEIDA: Oneida County Overdose Response Team issues Fentanyl Awareness Alert

ONONDAGA: New housing services center for homeless men coming to Syracuse

ONTARIO: Suicide Prevention Coalition of Ontario County gets $20K

SUFFOLK: Nonprofit Outreach adding new opioid treatment program at outpatient facility in Brentwood

WARREN: $1.2 million in federal funding to assist mental health care in Warren County

NIH Launches Harm Reduction Research Network to Prevent Overdose Fatalities

To address the overdose crisis in the United States, the National Institutes of Health has established a research network that will test harm reduction strategies in different community settings to inform efforts to help save lives. The harm reduction research network’s efforts build on existing harm reduction research, and represent the largest pool of funding from NIH to date to study harm reduction strategies to address overdose deaths. Read more here.

Related: Fentanyl test strips help prevent overdoses, why are they still controversial?

Issue Brief: Championing Veterans Treatment Courts in New York State


Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) are a type of specialty court geared toward veterans who have been charged with non-violent offenses and have mental health or substance use issues. VTCs provide an alternative to incarceration, giving justice-involved veterans a second chance by providing them with the treatment they need while allowing them to stay in their own communities. Since 2009, NYHealth has invested in the evaluation, replication, and strengthening of VTCs. In 2021, New York State enacted a law to ensure universal access to VTCs for all veterans who need one, no matter where in the State they live. NYHealth's work in this area continues today, with a focus on ensuring sound implementation of the universal access policy.


Read a new issue brief highlighting lessons learned from more than a decade of work supporting VTCs and recommendations for the future. 

Study: Rural Schools Face Disparities in Access to Mental Health Services 

Rural schools are significantly less likely to offer mental health services compared to urban schools, according to a new study led by researchers at Washington State University. The study, appearing in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, showed that only a little more than half of all public schools, 51.8%, reported providing assessments for mental health disorders. The researchers’ analysis showed that schools in rural areas, towns and suburban areas were significantly less likely to provide those assessments than city schools by a respective 19%, 21% and 11%. Treatment was being offered in only 38.3% of schools overall with suburban schools the least likely to provide treatment compared to city schools. Read more here.

Related: Schools are sounding the alarm on a growing mental health crisis for America’s kids

People addicted to opioids rarely get life-saving medications. That may change.

The Undying Holiday-Suicide Myth

TikTok may push potentially harmful content to teens within minutes, study finds

Working With Community Care Hubs to Address Social Drivers of Health (UPDATED)

Quit Genius Reports Promising Data in Pilot Study of Integrated Digital Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Treatment

Virtual MAT Sees Much Higher Retention Than Industry Averages, Companies Find


Reducing Jail Populations: Decreasing Pretrial Length of Stay by Improving Court Proceedings and Pre

January 5, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

New Medicaid Opportunities for Financing Health-Related Social Needs: A Conversation With States

January 9, 2023, 3 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

Introduction to PSYCKES

January 11, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

PSYCKES for Health Homes and Care Management Agencies

January 24, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

Where to Start: Getting Access to PSYCKES

January 31, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH



Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

December 22: 1 - 2:30 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Christmas

December 26


CLMHD Office Closed - New Year's Day

January 2

Executive Committee Meeting

January 4: 8 - 9 am

LGU Clinic Director Call

January 10: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting

January 12: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

January 12: 3 - 4 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - MLK Jr. Day

January 16

Children & Families Committee Meeting

January 17: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Membership Call

January 18: 9 - 10:30 am

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)
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