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

November 23, 2022

Governor Hochul Announces $3.3 Million to Expand Mental Health Services for Youth

Governor Kathy Hochul last Friday announced more than $3.3 million to community-based healthcare providers that will increase access to mental health services for children and families across the state. Administered through the state Office of Mental Health, the federal funding is aimed at helping community-based service providers better serve children and youth who are dually diagnosed with mental illness and a developmental disability or substance use disorder. Read more here.

GAO Report: Available Workforce Information and Federal Actions to Help Recruit and Retain Providers

Behavioral health conditions—including mental health and substance use disorders—affect millions of Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic may have also increased the number of people affected. A well-trained and diverse behavioral health care workforce is critical to providing the services people need.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed Department of Health and Human Services information on the number of behavioral health care providers nationwide and found barriers to recruiting and retaining them. Read more here.

Related: JAMA: Association of Youth Suicides and County-Level Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas in the US

Top U.S. Addiction Researcher Calls for Broad Deregulation of Methadone

The U.S. government’s top addiction researcher is calling for broad deregulation of methadone, a key drug used to treat opioid use disorder. American doctors should “absolutely” be allowed to prescribe methadone directly to patients, Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said Wednesday. 

“There’s absolutely no reason why not,” Volkow said. “There are countries where physicians are providing methadone, and the outcomes are actually as good as those they get [at] methadone clinics.” Read more here.

PEW Issue Brief: States Should Measure Opioid Use Disorder Treatment to Improve Outcomes

The most effective treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD) are medications: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. However, there are substantial gaps between the number of people who need these medications and those who receive them, and the United States continues to experience a devastating number of lives lost to the opioid epidemic. To close these gaps, improve treatment overall, and save lives, states need a set of core metrics to track relevant data and provide a comprehensive picture of care for OUD—from diagnosis through recovery. Such metrics would allow policymakers to measure successes, identify areas for improvement, and take appropriate actions. Read more here.

Related: Overdose Risk Prediction Algorithms: The Need For A Comprehensive Legal Framework

Schools, Sheriffs, and Syringes: State Plans Vary for Spending $26B in Opioid Settlement Funds

Fentanyl Vaccine Potential ‘Game Changer’ for Opioid Epidemic 

A research team led by the University of Houston has developed a vaccine targeting the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl that could block its ability to enter the brain, thus eliminating the drug’s “high.” The breakthrough discovery could have major implications for the nation’s opioid epidemic by becoming a relapse prevention agent for people trying to quit using opioids. While research reveals Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is treatable, an estimated 80% of those dependent on the drug suffer a relapse. Read more here.

Related: Interactive Graphics - The Stimulant Overdose Crisis & Fentanyl’s Influence

New SAMHSA Resource: From Crisis to Care - Building from 988 and Beyond for Better Mental Health Outcomes

A series of 10 technical assistance collaborative papers providing important resources for state leaders, policy makers, providers, peers and others to learn from examples around the country and hear from thought leaders about innovative services and the need for further 988 implementation. Produced by SAMHSA in conjunction with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Read the publication here.

Telehealth Availability at FQHCs Linked to Engagement in Mental Healthcare

A study published in JAMA Network Open found that despite an overall decline in visit rates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, high telehealth availability led to better care engagement among Medicaid beneficiaries with mental health conditions treated within federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Various studies have shown telehealth has expanded and improved care for mental health patients and those with low incomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, a June report from FAIR Health noted that mental health conditions were the most common telehealth diagnoses at the national level between 2020 and 2022. Read more here.

Related: Penn Medicine Telehealth Program Improves Access to OUD Treatment 

Shifting Addiction Treatment Models

The past five years has seen a change in where and how addiction treatment is delivered, driven by the opioid epidemic, the rising health care costs due to addiction, the pandemic, and increased private equity interest in the addiction treatment market segment. New programs—outpatient medication assisted treatment (MAT) programs, in-home treatment programs, and virtual treatment programs—are increasingly common. The field has seen the growth of many outpatient MAT programs due to easier access and lower costs. This new program model is offered by traditional addiction treatment provider organizations and by a number of new private equity-backed companies. Read more here.

Related: State AGs Urge Continued Virtual Care Access for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

CAYUGA: Cayuga County accepting proposals for how to use opioid settlement funds

CAYUGA: Cayuga Addiction Recovery Service Celebrates 50 years

COLUMBIA: Partnership in Hudson brings recovery services inside the ER

CORTLAND: 'These didn't go away': County takes another crack at bath salts law

DUTCHESS: Sheriff seeks to add mental health workers to staff

ERIE: Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on $23 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in East Buffalo

ESSEX: Essex Co. Health presents priorities for community health

MONROE: First Responders can get mental health support from peers through this non-profit

MONROE: County Executive Bello Signs Referral Allowing Him to Take Action to Alleviate Hospital Bed Shortages

MONROE: Child abuse prevention education program expands to include students with disabilities

MONTGOMERY: Montgomery County launches ‘kindness cakes’ initiative

NYC: NYS OASAS Announces Expansion of Mobile Addiction Services In New York City

NYC: $3 Million for Montefiore to Engage Fathers, Improve Child Welfare among Families at Risk of Substance Abuse

NYC: Trinity Church Wall Street Grants Respond to Growing Crisis of Youth Mental Health in New York City

NYC: Dangerous animal sedative xylazine has been found in NYC drug samples, Health Dept. confirms

ONEIDA: Rome City School District gets $2.4M in grant funding

ONONDAGA: Helio Health announces leadership transition

SARATOGA: Suicides Among Local EMTs Prompts Push For Counseling, Support

TOMPKINS: Cayuga Medical Center Expanding Access to Naloxone to Prevent Opioid Overdoses

Governor Hochul Issues Proclamation Celebrating Transgender Awareness Month in New York State

Governor Kathy Hochul issued a proclamation declaring November Transgender Awareness Month to celebrate the trans community in New York State and across the country. The Governor also announced that New York State landmarks will be lit pink, white and light blue on Sunday, November 20 in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. Read more here.

Related: Supporting the Behavioral Health Workforce to Implement Best Practices for LGBTQ+ People

LGBTQ youth have double the risk for suicidal thoughts, attempts

Moving from Data Collection to Action: Health System Execs Weigh in on Addressing Disparities Systemwide

Recent data from the Harris Poll show nearly half of BIPOC Americans have received low-quality care in the last year and have sought a second opinion because they felt their initial concerns were dismissed. These patients are more likely to make trade-offs related to the cost of healthcare, and their mental health is burdened by socioeconomic stressors, according to the data, which were presented at the inaugural U.S. News & World Report State of Equity forum last week in New York City. Read more here.

How Autism Providers NeurAbilities, Stepping Stones Are Overcoming the Industry’s Workforce Challenges

Mental health, substance use issues prevalent among nonpsychiatric emergency room patients

Health Harms of Mass Shootings Ripple Across Communities


Health Equity Workshop Series: Practical Steps for Application

November 28, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

My Perspective on Traumatic Brain Injury and Considerations for Adolescents Experiencing Brain Injury

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

MyCHOIS Consumer Access for “My Treatment Data”

December 1, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

Suicide and Opioids: Intersections and Opportunities for Prevention

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

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

Addressing the Staffing Crisis in Juvenile Justice Systems

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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



CLMHD Office Closed - Thanksgiving 

November 24 - 25

Quarterly LGU Billing Staff Meeting

November 29: 9:30 - 10:30 am

Inter-Agency Meeting - In-Person in Albany

November 29: 2 - 4:30 pm


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)
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