May 23, 2024

CLMHD Holds Spring 2024 Full Membership Meeting in Lake George

Directors of Community Services (DCSs) from across the state convened in Lake George for the Conference’s 2024 Spring Full Membership Meeting, May 8-10. This semi-annual gathering of Conference members allows for the exchange of local ideas and insights to promote new connections and renewed commitments towards advancing initiatives that benefit the communities they serve.

Inspirational keynote speaker, Mr. Ben Deeb, CRPA, CARC, delivered an impactful message on leveraging lived experience for cultural change, and the importance of peer recovery supports for justice involved individuals and their families. Drawing from his personal journey, Ben shared successful strategies for creating more rehabilitative and supportive environments, and the transformative power of lived experience and how it can be harnessed to drive positive change. Click here to learn more about Ben’s amazing work in this field!

Members also spent time engaged in thought-provoking breakout sessions and panel discussions covering topics such as recovery housing, opioid settlement funding initiatives, workforce challenges, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled tools for higher-risk populations. Don Kamin, PhD, CCSI Director, Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration, presented the main goals for Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs and Mobile Access Programs (MAPs) and gathered member feedback on implementing these programs locally.  

The Conference wishes to extend a warm welcome to CLMHD's newest members, Katie Roush, LCSW-R (Schuyler County), and H. Jean Wright, II, PsyD (NYC). Additionally, congratulations to Shawn Rosno, LCSW-R, on his recent promotion from DCS to County Administrator for Schuyler County.

The Conference recognizes long-standing member Brian Hart, LCSW-R, who will retire in early June after a decades-long career as DCS for the Chemung County Mental Hygiene Department, more recently promoted to Commissioner of Human Services for the county. Brian, your commitment throughout the years to mentoring and educating DCSs has been invaluable. Congratulations and we wish you all the best for the future!

Finally, the Conference extends special recognition to Darcie Miller, LCSW-R, who will retire in late June from her role as the Commissioner of both the Orange County DSS and the Department of Mental Health. We want to express our sincere gratitude for her many years of remarkable dedication to CLMHD and the mental health field. Darcie, your passion and leadership have made a lasting impact, and we thank you for your outstanding contributions. We wish you all the success and fulfillment in the years ahead!

Governor Hochul Continues Tackling Youth Mental Health Crisis with Nation-Leading Efforts to Protect and Support Young People

Governor Kathy Hochul today reinforced her commitment to protecting the mental health of kids and teenagers by making it a top priority to enact nation-leading legislation addressing online safety and the harmful impacts of social media in the final weeks of the 2024 State Legislative Session. The Governor also highlighted significant progress in bringing mental health care and resources directly to more young people in their homes, schools and communities statewide. “Each generation faces unique challenges – and our kids are facing a mental health crisis that requires us to confront the complexities of the digital age,” Governor Hochul said. “New York will continue leading the nation by combatting addictive social media algorithms, protecting kids online and ensuring they can get the support they need.” Read more here.

To Help Address Teens’ Mental Health Needs, Colorado to Launch Youth Mental Health Corps

Colorado is one of four states set to launch a new public-private program this fall aimed at addressing both the growing mental health needs of teenagers and a lack of providers. Called the Youth Mental Health Corps, the program will train young adults ages 18 to 24 to act “as navigators serving middle and high school students in schools and in community-based organizations,” according to a press release. Corps members will “connect youth to needed mental health supports and resources in close collaboration with practitioners and community partners.” The federal AmeriCorps service program will work with the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration and the Colorado Community College System to recruit and deploy the navigators, who will get a stipend and be eligible for student loan forgiveness and other help paying for college. Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas will launch Youth Mental Health Corps programs in September with “hundreds” of navigators across the four states. Seven other states — California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Utah — are set to launch programs in the fall of 2025. Read more here.

Governor Hochul Announces $10 Million Grant Funding to Support Efforts to Reduce Domestic Terrorism and Targeted Violence

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced $10 million in additional grant funding for state efforts to reduce domestic terrorism and targeted violence in the aftermath of the racist mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo on May 14, 2022. In the days after the attack, Governor Kathy Hochul issued Executive Order 18 establishing New York’s first-ever Domestic Terrorism Prevention Unit at DHSES and requiring each county in the state and New York City to develop plans to confront domestic terrorism. This included $10 million to support the development of local multi-disciplinary Threat Assessment and Management (TAM) teams in all 57 counties and New York City. The $10 million in grants secured by the Governor in this year’s budget has been made available to counties to further develop their TAM teams and update their prevention plans. Read more here.

NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors Releases Comprehensive Harm Reduction Position Statement

The Conference is proud to announce the publication of "Advancing Wellness in New York Counties: A Comprehensive Harm Reduction Position Statement." This position statement represents a commitment by the Directors of Community Services (DCSs) to promote and support local initiatives and interventions aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges of substance use and risky behaviors across the state's diverse counties. The overarching goal is to provide support to individuals in their specific situations, ensuring that interventions are customized to suit their individual circumstances. Read more here.

DiNapoli Report Examines Troubling Child Poverty Trends

A new report by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli details troubling child poverty trends across the state, including a child poverty rate that is one of the worst in the nation and alarmingly high in some cities. “A staggering number of children live in poverty in New York,” DiNapoli said. “Research shows that poverty presents serious barriers to healthy child development. Despite unstable economic conditions during the pandemic, child poverty dropped by half because the government expanded programs to help families and children. When these measures expired, the problem got worse. The state and federal government have the solutions to lift more children out of poverty, and we should act with urgency to use them.” Read more here.

New York's Opioid Settlement Board Outlines 2025 State Budget Funding

The Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board, created to determine how to spend New York’s cut of at least $26 billion in opioid settlement money, met last Friday in Albany. It was an at times contentious meeting with discussions about how to best spread the money across work done by different organizations that have at times clashed. But there were also demands coming from the public as well. This meeting was convened, in part, to outline how to appropriate $90 million in the state budget from the fund. Priorities include more than $26 million for municipalities, $10 million for harm reduction and $5 million for treatment services. Read more here.

Related: NYSDOH Awards From Opioid Settlement Fund to Organizations to Advance Harm Reduction Objectives to Priority Populations

New Tool for Monitoring Opioid Settlement Investments: Opioid Settlement Principles Resource and Indicators (OSPRI)

NASHP State Opioid Settlement Spending Decisions Tracker

NASHP - An Updated Look at State Opioid Settlement Spending Decisions

Loneliness Can Change the Brain

Everyone feels lonely from time to time — after, say, a move to a new school or city, when a child leaves for college, or following the loss of a spouse. Some people, though, experience loneliness not just transiently but chronically. It becomes “a personality trait, something that’s pretty sticky,” said Dr. Ellen Lee, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. These individuals seem to have “this persistent emotion that then shapes their behavior.” Research is mounting that this type of entrenched loneliness is bad for our health and can even change our brains, raising the risk for neurodegenerative diseases. Here’s what experts know about how chronic loneliness affects the brain, and some strategies to address it. Read more here.

Peer Support Specialists Drive Value as Behavioral Health Providers Embrace New Workforce

Peer support services are rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance thanks to recent federal initiatives, new reimbursement opportunities and the fallout from the opioid crisis. Peers have a unique ability to drive sustained patient engagement, industry insiders said at Behavioral Health Business’ VALUE conference. This makes the peer support model cost-effective for providers looking to shift away from fee-for-service models and toward value-based care. “Pretty much every person who is getting treatment for a mental health or substance use condition will benefit from peer support,” Shrenik Jain, founder and CEO of Marigold Health, said at BHB’s VALUE conference. Read more here.

Survey Reveals Mental Health Struggles Among NY First Responders

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray today announced the results of a survey conducted as part of New York’s inaugural first responder mental health needs assessment. The survey, which was conducted to better understand and help address mental health challenges facing the public safety community, included input from members of law enforcement, the fire service, EMTs, 911 dispatchers and emergency managers. More than 6,000 first responders statewide completed the survey. First responders reported a high degree of mental and physical stress as a result of the traumatic events associated with their work. A number of mental health programs specifically designed to assist first responders with their mental health needs are part of Governor Hochul’s $1 billion comprehensive multi-year plan to overhaul the continuum of mental health care. Read more here.

Related: West Virginia City tackles first responders’ opioid compassion fatigue

Building a Health Equity Focus into Value-Based Payment Design: Approaches for Medicaid Payers

Value-based payment (VBP) models shift health care payment from rewarding volume of care provided (i.e., fee-for-service payment) to rewarding the delivery of higher value care.1 As the health care system has increased its focus on health equity, many Medicaid payers, including state agencies and managed care organizations, see promise in aligning high-priority health care payment reform efforts with a focus on health equity. However, payers can’t succeed alone — reducing health inequities is complex and multifaceted, requiring a collective effort across the entire health care sector. Designing a successful, equity-focused VBP model involves a number of complex decisions, that should be informed by payers, providers, and the communities they serve. This brief explores approaches to incorporating health equity in VBP design, creating payment models that positively impact health disparities, outcomes, and costs in Medicaid.

Related: Mental health inequities will cost U.S. $478B in 'unnecessary' expenses in 2024

ALBANY: County Executive McCoy and County Legislature Announce Award of Opioid Settlement Funds

ALBANY: Albany Police working to integrate social workers to tackle disputes, fill service gaps

ALBANY: Governor Hochul Celebrates Construction of 67 New Affordable and Supportive Homes in the Village of Menands in Albany County

BROOME: Overdose crisis still raging on in Broome County

CHAUTAUQUA: Xylazine wounds plague past and present addicts in recovery

CHEMUNG: Catholic Charities Opens New Dormitory-Style Homeless Shelter in Elmira

ERIE: Erie County debuts Overdose Prevention Task Force

ERIE: $500K grant to be used to build grief center in WNY

FINGER LAKES: Finger Lakes region launches multi-county suicide prevention campaign

FRANKLIN: Health Watch: Saranac Lake school officials say mental health services here to stay

MONROE: Rochester mayor launches youth mental health initiative to help keep kids out of trouble

MONROE: Most high schoolers at RCSD are chronically absent. Here’s how the district is responding

NASSAU: NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Farmingdale State College Announce Success of Professional Microcredential Program

NYC: Governor Hochul Announces Progress in Effort to Rehouse Individuals Living on New York City’s Streets and Subway System

NYC: Brooklyn Communities Collaborative launches second workforce development training program for previously incarcerated individuals

ONEIDA: Oneida County Hiring Under State’s HELP Program

ONONDAGA: Central New York’s first LGBTQ youth-centered shelter to open in Syracuse

ONTARIO: New registry in Ontario County designed to help improve police response to certain households

SARATOGA: Saratoga Springs to offer free addiction and recovery literature through Read to Recovery

SOUTHERN TIER: Celebrating the Start of the Justice Center of the Southern Tier Program

SOUTHERN TIER: New text line coming to the Southern Tier for substance use disorder assistance

ST. LAWRENCE: St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau hosting teen to teen mental health awareness event May 29

SUFFOLK: Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on 55-Unit Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Suffolk County

ULSTER: Legislation Aims To Provide Additional Mental Health Resources for First Responders in Ulster County

WESTCHESTER: Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Project Alliance Receive Community Partner Award at Guidance Center of Westchester Gala

WESTCHESTER: Overdose deaths down in U.S. But crisis still rages in Westchester County. See the numbers

Reimagining Mental Health Crisis Response through 988: Local Lessons on 988 Implementation and Coordination with 911 from Three New York State Counties

A new report has recently been released, entitled, “Reimagining Mental Health Crisis Response through 988: Local Lessons on 988 Implementation and Coordination with 911 from Three New York State Counties.” This report contributes to a national discussion of, and guidance on, 988 by sharing case studies from three New York State counties that document local 988 implementation efforts and describe the collaboration between 988, 911, and other crisis lines. These three counties—one urban, one suburban, and one rural—demonstrate the wide variability in resource availability and preferences that dictate local 988 make-ups. The report presents a brief background on the 988 and 911 systems, highlights common implementation issues across jurisdictions, and provides suggestions for future policy work and research. These case studies have been shared with hopes that municipalities might reference them when developing their own crisis care systems to: (1) identify communities implementing model crisis programs; (2) learn from peer communities that have implemented innovative crisis policies and procedures; and (3) understand barriers and facilitators to crisis services implementation. 

Related: RAND - The Road to 988/911 Interoperability

Three Case Studies on Call Transfer, Colocation, and Community Response

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Messaging and Communications to Trusted Messengers of People Disproportionately Impacted by Suicide

New York State Announces Nearly $3.5 Million Available to Add 13 New Community Behavioral Health Clinics

New York State last week announced the availability of nearly $3.5 million to cover start-up costs for 13 new Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, which will triple the number operating in the state and greatly expand the areas providing person-centered and trauma-informed care for individuals experiencing behavioral health issues. Administered by the state Office of Mental Health, Office of Addiction Services and Supports, and Department of Health, these facilities provide a comprehensive array of behavioral health services to help individuals navigate the behavioral healthcare system across multiple providers as they transition from one level of care to another, regardless of their ability to pay. Read more here.

OMH News Special Edition - Two years later: Helping Buffalo heal

KFF: A Look at the Latest Alcohol Death Data and Change Over the Last Decade

JAMA: Share of Adult Suicides After Recent Jail Release

A Simple Questionnaire Is a Gold-Standard Tool for Suicide Prevention. It’s Not Working.

U.S. drug deaths declined slightly in 2023 but remained at crisis levels

Scientists Discover Surprising Details about Xylazine in Combination with Fentanyl

Two distinct neural pathways may make opioids like fentanyl so addictive

Cattle-Aided Mental Health Therapy Shows Promise in New NYU Study


Peer Recovery Support Series: Taking the First Steps Together — Best Practices for Supporting Peer-Staff and Parents in Recovery

May 23, 12 - 1:30 pm, NAADAC

Building and Enhancing the Rural Health Workforce

May 28, 12:30 - 1:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Unified Front: Overcoming Barriers in Integrated Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment

May 29, 12:30 - 1:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Addressing Substance Use Disorder Among BIPOC Communities

May 29, 1 - 2 pm, COSSUP

Essential Zoom and Tech Tips for MHFA Instructors

May 29, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Understanding Housing as a Social Driver of Health for Rural Residents

May 29, 1 - 2 pm, Rural Health Research Gateway

The Living Room: Leveraging the Peer Workforce in Crisis Stabilization

May 30, 12:30 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

An Overview of MHANYS and Collaborative Advocacy Opportunities

May 30, 1 - 2 pm, MHANYS

Reducing Crime and Recidivism Through Sheriff-Led Deflection: A Spotlight on Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion in Marion County, Oregon

May 30, 2 - 3 pm, National Sheriffs' Association

Ask the Expert: Embedded Mental Health Clinicians in Probation 

May 30, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Utilizing Trauma-Informed Approaches to Support Transition-Age Youth (TAY) in the Criminal Justice System

May 30, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Final Medicaid Rules, Part Three: Home and Community Based Services

June 4, 1 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

Enhancing Community Participation among Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

June 5, 1 - 2 pm, CIRC Center

Discrimination as a Social Determinant of Mental Health Disparities

June 6, 10 am - 5 pm, NIMH

Translating EDI Practice Into Action: Cultural Humility

June 6, 12 - 1 pm, Social Current

Breaking Down Barriers: Fostering Community Inclusion in Rural Communities for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

June 6, 2 - 3:15 pm, Temple University

4th Annual Ask a Medicaid Managed Care Plan (MMCP): Billing Event

June 11, 10 am - 3 pm, Albany Capital Center

Wellbeing Wednesdays - Patrick J. Kennedy

June 12, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Meeting the Needs: Aging Patients Facing Long-term Homelessness 

June 12, 2 - 3:30 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Introduction to Psychedelics for the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder

June 13, 1 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) Complaint Submission Process Overview

June 13, 3 - 4 pm, NYSDFS

Transitions of Care in Mental Health

June 18, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

Ask the Expert: Community Response and Its Place in the Crisis Continuum

June 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

The RED Tool: Identifying and Rectifying Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Treatment Court Programming and Outcomes

June 26, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Addressing Racial Bias in AI for Equitable Substance Use Recovery

June 26, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Building a Behavioral Health Continuum of Care: The Role of Rural Leaders and Behavioral Health Directors

June 27, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

MOUD in Recovery Housing: An Exemplary Case Study of Implementing Holistic Care in Indiana

July 8, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Ask the Expert: Collaborative Approaches to Providing Mental Health and Law Enforcement Services

August 20, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Ask the Expert: Family-Centered Reentry Programming

September 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center


Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

HRSA Health Workforce

NYS Grants Gateway

NY Health Foundation

OASAS Procurements

OMH Procurements

OPWDD Procurements

Rural Health Information Hub - New York

SAMHSA Grants Dashboard



Executive Committee Meeting

June 5: 8 - 9 am

LSP Support Session

June 6: 12 - 2 pm

AOT Coordinators Meeting

June 7: 10 - 11:30 am

Membership Call

June 12: 9 - 10:30 am

Addiction Services & Supports (ASR) Committee Meeting

June 13: 11 am - 12 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

June 13: 1 - 2:30 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

June 13: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Meeting

June 18: 10 - 11:00 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting

June 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Juneteenth

June 19

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

June 20: 1 - 3 pm

Links to State Guidance and Updates on COVID-19

NYS Coronavirus Vaccination Information

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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