February 16, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces $658 Million to Strengthen Access to High Quality Health Care

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced more than $658 million in state funding to support 127 projects that will protect and transform New York State's health care delivery system. Administered by the State Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program will help to improve patient care by supporting high-quality facilities serving the inpatient, primary care, mental health, substance use disorder and long-term care needs of communities throughout the state. The awards will help fund 127 projects throughout the state. View a list and description of the projects by region. Read more here.

Related: Drug pricing reform is coming for millions in NY, but community health centers fear side effects

National Association of Counties Announces Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing

The National Association of Counties (NACo) on Monday announced a new Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing, bringing together 14 county leaders from across the country. The group is tasked with leading the development of policy and programmatic recommendations at the federal, state, and local levels to address systemic issues contributing to the ever-growing mental health crisis.  

“America’s county leaders demand a rethinking – a reimagination – of how we advance the mental health and well-being of our families and neighbors, especially those without adequate access to care and treatment,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “This commission will drive collaboration and innovation across all sectors, from our intergovernmental partners to the private sector, from think tanks to practitioners.” Read more here.

Special note: Congratulations to Monroe County DCS, Dr. April Aycock, Ed.D, MS, LMHC, Master-CASAC, for her appointment to the Commission.

New York State Public Media Special Report: 'COVID-19 and the Overdose Epidemic'

On Thursday, Feb. 16, WXXI News will televise a statewide discussion on how the pandemic and the response have exacerbated the ongoing overdose epidemic. The New York State Public Media Special Report: "COVID-19 and the Overdose Epidemic," airs on WXXI-TV and on PBS stations across New York state. It will also be streamed via YouTube. During the broadcast, medical experts, researchers, nonprofit organizations, and New Yorkers in recovery will examine the state of the crisis in communities throughout New York and discuss how to curb it. Read more here.

Related: FDA advisers recommend approval of over-the-counter naloxone to fight opioid overdose

Counties Weigh Strategies for Allocating Opioid Settlements

With national opioid settlements beginning to roll in, county officials are tasked with determining how best to spend the funds. Lauren Carr, Executive Director of the Graves County, Ky. Agency for Substance Abuse Prevention, advocated for needle exchange programs, community distribution of the opioid overdose treatment Naloxone, quick response teams in the event of overdoses and investing in peer support. Read more here.

Related: Optimizing Opioid Settlement Funds To Save Lives: Investing In Equitable Solutions

Michigan Dept. of Health expands opioid health home services to Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph counties

Almost Half of Children Who Go To ER with Mental Health Crisis Don’t Get the Follow-Up Care They Need, Study Finds

Every night that Dr. Jennifer Hoffmann works as an attending physician in the pediatric ER, she says, at least one child comes in with a mental or behavioral health emergency. Over the span of her career, she’s seen the number of young people needing help grow enormously. ER staffers may be able to stabilize a child in a mental health care crisis, but research has shown that timely follow-up with a provider is key to their success long-term. Unfortunately, there just doesn’t seem to be enough of it, according to a new study co-authored by Hoffmann. Without the proper follow-up, these children too often wound up back in the ER. Read more here.

Related: CDC: Teen girls see spike in behavioral health concerns

Barriers Often Keep Black Community from Seeking Help for Mental Health

The Biden administration last week announced a plan to transform how the nation understands and treats mental health. It’s a community-wide issue, and it’s important to note that seeking help can be difficult, especially in the Black community. All ethnicities and cultures experience mental health conditions, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only one in three Black adults who need mental health care actually receive it. The reason why is likely rooted in a history of systematic racism and oppression. In the late 18th century, white physicians and mental health professionals believed Black slaves felt less pain, and if they complained about any medical procedures, it was seen as a mental illness, leading to a foundation of suffering in silence. Read more here.

Suicides Persist In New York's Prisons and Jails

Maryanne Rappaport immediately knew it was her son when a local television news station provided the description of a man sought by police for an alleged robbery. The suspect had the same lip piercing, gauge earrings and distinct hairstyle and, most of all, she hadn’t been able to reach him at the Albany shelter where he had been living. She was faced with a choice: turn in her son, a struggling heroin addict, and hope that his incarceration would keep him out of further trouble, or ignore what she believed to be a desperate cry for help. She went to the Guilderland Police Department the next day.

"I told them that he threatened to kill himself if I ever turned him in to the police, so I said, 'Please, whatever you do, don’t tell him that,' " Maryanne Rappaport said. Read more here.

One State’s Effort to Keep Some Police Encounters From Turning Deadly

ROSELLE PARK, N.J. — The shift was subtle but meaningful. Police officers in casual collared shirts and cargo pants were assigned to arrive with mental health counselors to emergencies involving people in emotional distress. The two-person teams began showing up in unmarked cars, without flashing lights or sirens, crisscrossing three northern New Jersey communities. Part of a pilot program that New Jersey’s Attorney General’s Office created after the 2020 police killing of George Floyd, the approach — called Arrive Together — was meant to better address the mental health needs of people in crisis and reduce the risk that encounters might end in violence. Read more here.

Related: More Support for Behavioral Health Services Can Improve Probation

The Shifting Corrections/Medicaid Interface

The process in the U.S. for coordinating the reentry of incarcerated populations has been problematic for decades. People who are incarcerated are typically released in the middle of the night with little in the way financial means, often without a place to stay or employment, and frequently without health benefits. And, for the 89% of inmates with behavioral health conditions, the lack of health benefits often equates to lack of continuity of care, including medications. This situation is often considered to be the cause of high recidivism rates in prisons. But the health care coverage portion of this equation seems to be changing. The number of states canceling Medicaid eligibility upon incarceration has dropped from 46 in 2009 to only 3 today. And only two states do not reinstate Medicaid eligibility post-incarceration and require full re-enrollment. Read more here.

There’s a Name for the Constant Helplessness You Feel When You Work in Mental Health Care

“What do you mean there’s no way to get me my medication?” A young college student looked at me across the Zoom video psychiatry appointment, visibly angry, and a little saddened.

"There’s a shortage of ADHD drugs, and I’m not even sure when it will end.” I let out an audible sigh, “There are a few, all pretty not-great, options,” I told him. Listening to my series of unhelpful options, my patient looks defeated. I feel responsible for it. “I’m so sorry,” I say, for the fourth or fifth time today alone.

I didn’t have a word for what I was experiencing until the pandemic brought it out into my lexicon: moral injury. Before I went into this field, no one told me that the helplessness that comes with working in mental health is actually constant moral injury. Read more here.

Related: Addressing Burnout in the Behavioral Health Workforce Through Organizational Strategies

ERIE: At regional mental health forum, Erie County official notes 'there's much work to do to improve our crisis system'

ESSEX: Essex County, NY sees 'spike' in drug overdoses, officials offer free Narcan

FINGER LAKES: Counties unite to address mental health crisis, other issues

NYC: LaGuardia Community College Gets Funding For Mental Health Project

NYC: Students at CUNY Medical School now have a robo-messaging service checking their mental health

NYC: Inside New York City's training for health care workers doing involuntary removals

ONONDAGA: Upstate doctor says current teen mental health cases already outpacing last year

OTSEGO: HUD Funds To Combat Area Homelessness

SARATOGA: Saratoga County DOH holds free Narcan training to prepare for opioid overdoses

STEUBEN: Steuben county will now publish monthly overdose reports

STEUBEN: Steuben County installing 21 naloxone wall boxes for overdose emergencies

SUFFOLK: Organization scores $625K grant for mental-health first-aid training

WESTCHESTER: St. Vincent's Addiction Treatment Program Offers Virtual Services

WESTERN NY: $500K mental health grant approved for WNY Rural Area Health Education Center

Sports Betting Has Risen Tenfold In Three Years. Addiction Experts Fear the Next Opioid Crisis

The sports betting market has multiplied tenfold in three years and may have reached $7 billion in 2022. More than half of the nation can now legally gamble on sports. Fifty million Americans are expected to bet on the upcoming Super Bowl. Five years ago, betting on live games was illegal in most of the United States. A Supreme Court ruling in 2018 removed the ban and transformed the industry. Now, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow wagers on games. Addiction experts fear a coming national epidemic to rival the opioid crisis. Read more here.

NYSAC News Winter 2023 Legislative Guide Released

The latest issue of the NYSAC News Magazine focuses on policy considerations for New York's counties in 2023. Click here to read the Winter 2023 Legislative Guide.

Check out the Conference's article on pages 46-47!

Autism Speaks Releases Clinician Guide: Program Development and Best Practices for Treating Severe Behaviors in Autism

Children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other intellectual and developmental disabilities are at increased risk of engaging in severe and distressing behaviors such as self-injury, aggression and destructive behavior. These behaviors vary widely in their severity and responsiveness to therapies and can greatly impact quality of life for autistic people and their families. To improve systems of care for this population, Autism Speaks convened a group of multi-disciplinary experts to develop the Clinician Guide: Program Development and Best Practices for Treating Severe Behaviors in Autism.

Related: Scientists ‘switch off’ autism symptoms using $3 epilepsy drug: discovery

‘Tranq’ treatment could put financial strain on hospitals

Trends in Out-of-Pocket Costs for and Characteristics of Pharmacy-Dispensed Buprenorphine Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment by Type of Payer, 2015 to 2020

CMS Releases Section 1115 Demonstration Rapid Cycle Reports

A National Snapshot Update: Access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in U.S. Jails and Prisons (2023)

Newly found brain pathway could be key to reducing opioid addiction

Pre-Paid Cell Phones Break Barriers to Healthcare Engagement for People with Addiction

Musically Active People Have a Slightly Higher Genetic Risk for Certain Mental Illnesses


Mitigating Safety and Risk for Children Affected by Parental Substance Use Disorders Involved in the Child Welfare System

February 16, 1 - 2 pm, NCSACW

Office of Minority Health Resource Center: Knowledge Center Resources and Services Webinar

February 16, 1 - 2 pm, OASH

Understanding Suicide and Mental Health Disparities Among Black and African American Communities in Integrated Care

February 16, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Impact of Gambling on Youth Mental Health

February 16, 7:30 - 8:30 pm, MHANYS

CCBHC Capabilities Help Organizations Achieve Better Outcomes & Financial Sustainability

February 21, 1 - 2 pm, Open Minds

Collaborating with Tribal Communities: Cultural Humility

February 21, 1 - 2 pm, Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Settings Regulation: Fitting the Pieces Together

February 21, 1 - 2:30 pm, CMS

Oregon Helps Older Adults and People with Disabilities Thrive through Workforce and Program Innovations

February 21, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports

February 23, 10 - 11 am, OMH

What are Peer Support Services Across the Lifespan?

February 23, 12 - 1:15 pm, MCTAC

Financing the Future of Integrated Care - Q &A

February 23, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Collaborative Care Management Foundations: A 101 primer on the practices and possibilities

February 23, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Beyond 12-Steps: The Neuroscience of Recovery Coaching

February 23, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Harm Reduction Office Hours Series for OASAS Providers: Cannabis and Harm Reduction

February 23, 2 - 3:30 pm, OASAS

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Providing Tailored Support for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) in the Criminal Justice System

February 24, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Providing Tailored Support for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) in the Criminal Justice System

February 25, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Bright Futures Let’s Talk: Healthy Mental & Emotional Development Webinar Series

February 27, 12 - 1 pm, HRSA

Peer Support in Integrated Care Settings

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

Finding the Way Home: Accessing Housing Resources to Support Individuals with Justice Involvement in Reentry

February 28, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Introductory/Refresher Virtual YSBIRT Training

February 28, 2 - 5 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Augmenting Behavioral Health Treatment With Telehealth: New Research Findings

March 1, 12 - 1 pm, Manatt Health

MyCHOIS Consumer Access for “My Treatment Data”

March 1, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Introductory/Refresher Virtual SBIRT Training

March 6, 2 - 5 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Consent, Emergency, Quality Flag: PSYCKES Levels of Access

March 7, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Safety-led Overdose Prevention in Black, Indigenous and People of Color Communities

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

Peers: Hiring and Onboarding

March 9, 12 - 1:15 pm, MCTAC

Beyond X-ing the X-Waiver

March 9, 3 - 4:30 pm, FORE

Adding Up the Cost of Health Inequity

March 15, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

PSYCKES for BHCCs and Other Networks

March 16, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Justice Center Code of Conduct Train-the-Trainer Session

March 22, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, NYS Justice Center



CLMHD Office Closed - Presidents Day

February 20

Children & Families Committee Meeting

February 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm


Executive Committee Meeting

March 1: 8 - 9 am

Mentoring: "What Every DCS Should Know About Mental Hygiene Law"

March 8: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting

March 9: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

March 9: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call

March 14: 10 - 11:30 am

IOCC Meeting - IN-PERSON (Albany)

March 15: 1 - 3:30 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting

March 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Deputy DCS Call

March 28: 10 - 11 am

Save the Date: CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting - May 11-12 in Saratoga Springs

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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