October 6, 2022

Governor Hochul Announces $5 Million for Capital Region Suicide Prevention Program

Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced a $5 million multi-agency pilot program aimed at reducing suicide among vulnerable groups in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. Funded through a grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administered by the state Office of Mental Health, Capital Connect will utilize data from state agencies and local partners to identify at-risk groups for focused prevention efforts in specific areas and industries in the four-county region. New York is one of only six states to receive the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more here.

Related: Suicides During and Shortly After Pregnancy Are an Urgent Concern

U.S. Preventative Health Group Recommends Anxiety Screening for Kids 8 to 18

An influential national panel of preventive health experts on Tuesday recommended for the first time that children and adolescents between 8 and 18 should be screened for anxiety, but said there was insufficient evidence to say that children 7 and under should be screened. The new recommendations, issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and published in JAMA, are for the screening of children and teens who are seen in primary care settings and have no symptoms. Task force members emphasized that any child with symptoms of anxiety, regardless of age, should be connected to care. Read more here.

Related: To Improve Students’ Mental Health, Schools Take a Team Approach

Why Telehealth Has Become an Integral Part of the Mental Healthcare Landscape  

Two and a half years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that telehealth has boosted access to mental healthcare and bolstered the workforce. But certain hurdles stand in the way of continued use, including resistance among some providers due to the return of in-person care and the uncertainty about the future of regulatory flexibilities.

During Telehealth Awareness Week, hosted by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), a panel of mental healthcare physicians and program leaders discussed the benefits of telemental care for providers and patients alike and detailed trends impacting the use of virtual care modalities in the future. Read more here.

Related: CUNY Researchers Win NIH Grant to Treat Opioid Overuse Through Telehealth

The Pros and Cons of Telemental Health Services

Medication Modification Equivalent for Virtual and In-Person Psychiatric Visits

HHS Announces Initiatives to Address Language Barriers in Care Access

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced several commitments to ease language barriers preventing care access.

“We know that people with limited English proficiency (LEP) too often face discrimination when seeking healthcare and human services,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, said in a public statement. “The risk of misinformation, the wrong type of care, or foregoing care altogether is high when language barriers persist. We’re putting policy into action to eliminate barriers to equitable care and leave no one behind.” Read more here.

To Improve Students’ Mental Health, Schools Take a Team Approach

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — One day early last school year, each of the 35 teachers at W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School sat in their classrooms encircled by eight to 10 teenage and preteen students to lead a conversation on topics like self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation and stress management.

“How can we possibly do our best work if we are concerned about our own mental health?” a teacher named Dave Edson asked rhetorically from the front of his science lab, trying to draw out his nine eighth graders. Mr. Edson’s question was classic Crew, an educational program in which teachers turn what used to be homeroom into “home base for social and emotional learning as well as academic support,” as Du Bois’s principal, Ben Doren, put it. Read more here.

In One North Carolina Community, Mental Health Workers Respond to 911 Calls

In an emergency, everyone is taught to call 911, an alert for the fire department, emergency medical services or police to help. But what if the caller doesn’t need help because of a fire, accident or crime?

As one recent caller to the 911 center in Durham, North Carolina, said: “I feel kind of dangerous to myself. Not anybody else. I would like to go to the hospital. I do not have any way of getting there.”

Leigh Mazur was the one who picked up the call, but she isn’t a typical 911 responder. Read more here.

BHN Fall 2022 Issue: "Challenges of the Behavioral Health System"

HMA Identifies Key Trends for Emerging Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstration Proposals

This week's HMA In Focus explores a new trend to watch in Medicaid Section 1115 waiver demonstration programs. As discussed in our previous In Focus, state Medicaid agencies are exploring pathways and concepts to address the historic inequities and health disparities laid bare and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts are closely aligned with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) policy objectives for the Medicaid program, specifically:

  • Addressing health inequities
  • Improving access and coverage
  • Promoting whole person care

In an earlier In Focus, our experts shared initial insights and considerations for stakeholders about one of the emerging trends: state Medicaid leaders are seeking to improve health equity in communities by providing health-related social services and engaging community organizations. Building on this and informed by our collective “on the ground” expertise we are writing this week about a second emerging trend we see across states’ Section 1115 activities. Read more here.

CATTARAUGUS: Quick Center Panel Weighs Mental Health Advances

CHAUTAUQUA: ‘There’s A Need’: Mayor Convenes Joint Meeting on Homelessness

CHAUTAUQUA: Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene Announces New Logo

CHAUTAUQUA: Film to examine loneliness


COLUMBIA: Columbia County releases overdose data, revealing numerous deaths

ERIE: Table of Experts: Diagnosing disparity in health care

ERIE: State, WNY officials give stern warning over dangers of rainbow fentanyl

FULTON: The Family Counseling Center Recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

FULTON: Fulton County continues fight against growing opioid crisis

FULTON: Fulton County Board of Supervisors set to vote on fast track for Domestic Terrorism Prevention Grant plan

JEFFERSON: Out of Darkness walk in Thompson Park focuses on suicide awareness, prevention

LIVINGSTON: Livingston County joins others raising concerns about Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy

MONROE: Woman in crisis waits 45 minutes for ambulance, prompting concerns about response times

NIAGARA: Niagara Co. working to make opioid settlement fund recommendations

NIAGARA: Higgins: $1 million from Safer Communities Act Awarded to Niagara Falls City School District

NYC: NYC brings violence interrupters and other mentors to 138 schools

NYC: Harlem to Get Major New Residential Project with Health Facility

NYC: New Bill Passed to Ensure NYC Bars Stocked With Anti-Overdose Kits

NYC: NYPD, New York lawmakers introduce new app to help protect transgender youth

NYC: 'I'Raise' works to improve youth mental health


ONONDAGA: Jamesville-DeWitt school district to expand mental health clinic to high school

OSWEGO: Oswego County Community Services Board To Host ‘Make A Change’ Hiring Event

SUFFOLK: Governor Hochul Announces Opening of $5.9 Million Supportive Housing Development in Suffolk County

SUFFOLK: Stony Brook Medicine releases results of health needs survey for Long Island LGBTQ+ community

TOMPKINS: Tompkins County Sheriff warns of increase in animal tranquilizer overdoses in people

ULSTER: Ulster County’s drug abuse prevention program receives national recognition

YATES: New provider for behavioral health counseling

Gun-Related Suicides and Killings Continued to Rise in 2021, C.D.C. Reports

Homicides and suicides involving guns, which soared in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, continued rising in 2021, reaching the highest rates in three decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. Firearms caused 47,286 homicide and suicide deaths in 2021, up from 43,675 in 2020, according to the agency’s research, which is based on provisional data. Rates of gun-related homicide and suicide each rose by 8.3 percent last year. Read more here.

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center Invites Communities to Apply for Sequential Intercept Mapping Workshops

Application due date: November 10, 2022

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center is currently soliciting applications from communities interested in in-person Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) Mapping Workshops. SIM Mapping Workshops are designed to bring together a local, cross-system, multidisciplinary group of key stakeholders from a particular jurisdiction (typically a county) to facilitate collaboration and to identify and discuss ways in which barriers between the criminal justice and behavioral systems can be reduced through the development of integrated local strategic action plans. SIM Mapping Workshop participants are expected to be drawn, in large part, from local criminal justice and behavioral health agencies and organizations. Read more here.

4 Behavioral Health Legislation Trends to Watch

Keys To Managing Care For "Complex" Children

As Overdoses Soar, Rhode Island Embraces a Daring Addiction Strategy

Can ‘Kinship Care’ Help the Child Welfare System? The White House Wants to Try.

Youth vaping rates appear to be dropping, but regulators and advocates aren’t satisfied

People with schizophrenia are 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia

Borderline Personality Disorder-Related Stigma Undermines Patient Care and Efforts to Reduce Suicide


Integrating Harm Reduction into the Substance Use Disorder Care Continuum

October 13, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Navigating PSYCKES Recipient Search for Population Health

October 18, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Trans 101: Creating a Safe and Affirming Environment for Transgender Consumers

October 18, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Leading Wellbeing: Be Well, Do Well, A Webinar for Managers

October 18, 2 - 3 pm, Center for Wellbeing at Work

Understanding & Supporting Teen Emotional, Mental & Sexual Health

October 18, 7 - 8 pm, NYS School MH Resource & Training Center

Harm Reduction is Healthcare - Harnessing new opportunities to address the substance use epidemic, Session 1

October 19, 3 - 4:30 pm, HRSA

Introduction to the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards

October 20, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Women Veterans’ Definitions of Peer Support: Importance for Mental Health & Well-being

October 20, 6 - 7 pm, NASW-NYS

Exploring the Intersections of Gender-Based Violence and Suicide

October 21, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads

October 25, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

Closing the Gap: Critical Partnerships between Jails and Community-Based Providers to Ensure Continuity of Care

October 25, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

State Integration Models of Recovery Support Services

October 27, 11:30 am - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Trans 101: Creating a Safe and Affirming Environment for Transgender Consumers

November 2, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

Diversity, Equity and Belonging focused Solutions to Recruit & Retain the Workforce

November 3, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

NYS Justice Center Code of Conduct Train-the-Trainer

November 9, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, NYSJC

Implementing the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards

November 15, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing



Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting

October 13: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

October 13: 3 - 4 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting

October 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Fall Full Membership Meeting

October 20-21, Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, Rochester

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

October 27, 1 - 2:30 pm


CLMHD Office Closed - Election Day

November 8

CLMHD Office Closed - Veterans Day November 8

November 11

LGU Clinic Operators Call

November 14, 10 - 11:30 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting

November 15: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Thanksgiving 

November 24-25

Inter-Agency Meeting - In-Person in Albany

November 29: 2 - 4:30 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)
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