December 1, 2022

CLMHD Joins Inter-Office Coordinating Council (IOCC) Meeting with OMH, OASAS and OPWDD Commissioners


On Tuesday, November 29th, members and staff of the Conference met with the Commissioners and staff of OMH, OASAS and OPWDD to discuss interagency planning efforts with the local governmental units (LGUs) and cross-system service coordination across the three mental hygiene agencies. Many thanks to all who helped facilitate this notable gathering of state and local experts and we look forward to our ongoing work together to identify meaningful and sustainable solutions for individuals with complex behavior health needs. 

L-R: OASAS Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham, MD; OMH Commissioner Ann Sullivan, MD; OPWDD Commissioner Kerri Neifeld, MSW; CLMHD Executive Director Courtney David; CLMHD Counsel Jed Wolkenbreit, Esq.; CLMHD Chair Laura Kelemen, LCSW-R (Niagara County DCS)

New York City to Remove Mentally Ill People From Streets Against Their Will

Acting to address “a crisis we see all around us” toward the end of a year that has seen a string of high-profile crimes involving homeless people, Mayor Eric Adams announced a major push on Tuesday to remove people with severe, untreated mental illness from the city’s streets and subways. Mr. Adams, who has made clearing homeless encampments a priority since taking office in January, said the effort would require 

involuntarily hospitalizing people who were a danger to themselves, even if they posed no risk of harm to others, arguing the city had a “moral obligation” to help them. Read more here.

Related: NYC Mayor Adams faces backlash for move to involuntarily hospitalize homeless people

More than 1,000 New Yorkers await a spot in programs for serious mental illness

Governor Hochul Announces $9 Million Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Workers

Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced $9 million in state funding for a loan repayment program to help community mental health agencies recruit and retain psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program will provide loan repayments of up to $120,000 for psychiatrists and $30,000 for psychiatric nurse practitioners, provided they remain employed by licensed community mental health programs for three years. Read more here.

Related: NASHP’s Annual Conference Highlights Statewide Strategies to Support Health Care Workforce

Defining the Care Workforce: A New Way to Think about Employment in Healthcare, Education, and Social Services

A stable, well-trained care workforce is not only crucial to the well-being of communities, but the functioning of the rest of the economy. Care workers are responsible for maintaining the education, health, and general welfare of the population. In recent years, journalists have told the stories of these workers and families affected by the shortage. State and federal leaders have called for policies and investments that will bolster these sectors. One of the hurdles to effectively addressing the challenges in these sectors is that the care workforce is amorphously defined and understudied. The goal of this report from the SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government is to characterize the occupations that make up the US care workforce and the people who work in those occupations. The report concludes by discussing how New York’s care workforce differs from the nation as a whole. Read more here.

The Opioid Epidemic Is Surging among Black People because of Unequal Access to Treatment

In one way or another, Thomas Gooch has spent more than 30 years struggling with illegal drugs. The 52-year-old Nashville, Tenn., native grew up in extreme poverty. He was first incarcerated in 1988 and spent the next 15 years in and out of jail for using and selling narcotics. “Until 2003,” Gooch says. “That was the first time I went to treatment and the last time I used.” Since then, for most of 19 years, Gooch has been trying to get others into recovery or just keep them alive. He handed out clean needles and injection-drug equipment—which reduce injuries, infections and overdose deaths—in Nashville’s hardest-hit communities. In 2014 he founded My Father’s House, a transitional recovery facility for fathers struggling with substance use disorder. Read more here.

Related: SAMHSA - Community Engagement: An Essential Component of an Effective and Equitable Substance Use Prevention System

Homelessness, Hospitals and Mental Health: Study Shows Impacts and Costs

Six years ago, United states hospitals officially got the ability to document patients’ housing status, including housing instability and homelessness. The new “Z codes” reflect an increasing recognition of the role of housing as one of the key social determinants of health. A study that harnesses those data reveals vast differences in diagnoses between patients with and without housing issues who are admitted to hospitals. This includes a sharp divide in care for mental, behavioral and neurodevelopmental conditions. Read more here.

Looming Regulatory Changes Could Remake MAT Access

The federal government is signaling big moves around deregulating medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Key federal stakeholders have indicated reforms are a top priority going forward. Already, the House of Representatives passed the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act, potentially clearing the way for easier prescribing of methadone and buprenorphine. If realized, the changes to MAT regulation would remake the addiction treatment space. This could include widening access to naloxone and buprenorphine. It could also see methadone being available in primary care and retail clinics. Read more here.

Related: HHS moves to overhaul privacy rules for substance abuse patients

Telemedicine Program CareConnect Helps Eliminate Barriers for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

From Treatment Courts to the Supreme Court: Q&A with Three State Supreme Court Justices

Treatment courts, which can include mental health and other specialty courts, have been around for decades. Across the country, they are used to divert people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders from jail or prison into treatment. Members of the Idaho 

Supreme court have long been committed to advancing the efforts of treatment courts and have found them not only personally gratifying but also beneficial to their professional careers. The CSG Justice Center recently interviewed three of the five members serving on the court. Each of these justices was eager to speak about how their experiences with treatment courts have affected the trajectory of their judicial work and shown them how they can meaningfully impact people in the criminal justice system. Read more here.

CHAUTAUQUA: Aging in Upstate: Film addresses isolation and loneliness in New York before pandemic hit

CLINTON: SUNY Plattsburgh expands access to student mental health services

CLINTON: Nonprofit develops initiative to reduce overdose deaths in northern New York

COLUMBIA: Overdose spike alert issued for Columbia County

MONROE: Workers with disabilities make 1 million pies per year at Rochester bakery

NORTH COUNTRY: Emergency Narcan kits installed at businesses across North Country

NYC: Overdose Prevention Van, Crisis Center Gets Approval For Bed-Stuy

NYC: Governor Hochul Announces Completion of $82 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Brownsville

ONEIDA: 9 drug overdoses, 2 fatal, trigger spike alert in Oneida County

ST. LAWRENCE: United Helpers Behavioral Health Clinic in Canton using grant to increase staff

WESTCHESTER: Westchester Diversion Program ‘Fresh Start’ Celebrates Milestone Participation Rate in First Year

Despite State Budget Funding, Little Progress Bringing Psychiatric Beds Back Into Service

New York State has made little progress bringing 1,000 shuttered psychiatric beds back into service after they were closed during the covid pandemic, raising questions about a signature element of the mental health and public safety agendas of Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams. In the April budget, Hochul and the Legislature allocated $27.5 million in state funding, matched by federal dollars, to restore the roughly 1,050 psychiatric beds shifted at the height of the pandemic when hospitals scrambled to make room for the swell of COVID-19 patients. Since then, only about 200 psychiatric beds have come back into use, according to the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) – a number that has not moved since June. OMH did not provide a breakdown of where the 200 beds are located. Read more here.

New Law Will Strengthen Background Checks for Child Advocacy Centers in New York

Child advocacy centers in New York will be able to conduct background checks on current or incoming employees using a child abuse and maltreatment registry maintained by the state under a law approved by Gov. Kathy Hochul last week. The measure is meant to address the lack of access to the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. Previously, only county-run child advocacy centers can access the register. The new law will extend that access to non-profit centers. Read more here.

New York State Department of Health Releases Issue Brief On Pregnancy Associated Deaths

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released an issue brief from its Maternal Mortality Review Board (MMRB) focusing on mental health conditions – the third leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths. Offering a fictitious case that represents mental health issues common to many cases reviewed by the MMRB, the issue brief is the first in a series designed to offer multi-disciplinary providers an in-depth examination of key recommendations to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and provide education on prevention strategies and resources to reduce mental-health related causes of maternal mortality. Read more here.

KFF: A Look at Waiting lists for Home and Community-Based Services from 2016 to 2021

Resistance to FDA’s opioid-disposal plan raises concerns about CADCA, a powerful advocacy group

Health Affairs: Improving Health And Well-Being Through Community Care Hubs

CNN: Drug and alcohol deaths increasing among US adults 65 and older, CDC data shows

NPR: Dealing with collective trauma in the wake of mass shootings

Shining the light on mental illness and suicide prevention

Health Affairs: New Coding Modifier Offers Opportunity To Investigate Audio-Only Telehealth


The Unicorns Of Behavioral Health: Who They Are & How They Impact Patient Care

December 1, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

MyCHOIS Consumer Access for “My Treatment Data”

December 1, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

FFI Data-Sharing Technology for Behavioral Health & Justice Learning Series: NICE

December 1, 2 - 2:30 pm, NACo

Suicide and Opioids: Intersections and Opportunities for Prevention

December 1, 4 - 5 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Reducing Jail Populations: Jail Data Initiative Demonstration

December 5, 3 - 3:30 pm, NACo

Population-Based Payments in Medicaid: Strengthening Provider Incentives to Transform Care

December 6, 2 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

How to Successfully Negotiate with Payers for Increased Reimbursement Rates: Achieving Pay for Performance in Behavioral Health

December 7, 12 - 1 pm, Behavioral Health Business

Integrating Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialists into Crisis Response

December 8, 1 - 2 pm, Bureau of Justice Assistance

Addressing the Staffing Crisis in Juvenile Justice Systems

December 8, 1 - 2:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

FFI Data-Sharing Technology for Behavioral Health and Justice Learning Series: IBM

December 8, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

Growing the Workforce Pipeline through Strategic Community Partnerships

December 8, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Lessons Learned (So Far) from FORE’s Innovation Challenge in Developing Responses to the Opioid Crisis

December 8, 3 - 4:30 pm, Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE)

Moving from Policy to Action: Fighting the Nation’s Drug Overdose and Death Epidemic

December 12, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

A Holistic Trauma-Informed Approach for Every Treatment Court Role: Maximizing Team Members’ Effectiveness in Interpersonal Interactions

December 12, 3:30 - 5 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Making the Connection: Conversations Around Integrated Care

December 13, 10 - 11:30 am, MCTAC

The Case for Continuum Capital: Rethinking Substance Use Strategies and Resources

December 14, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Community Engagement: An Essential Component of an Effective and Equitable Substance Use Prevention System

December 16, 2 - 3 pm, SAMHSA

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

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



CLMHD Executive Committee Meeting

December 7: 8 - 9 am

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting

December 8: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

December 8: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Meeting

December 13: 10 - 11:30 am

CLMHD Membership Meeting

December 14: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

December 15: 1 - 3 pm

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, 2023

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)
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin