May 4, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Passage of $1 Billion Plan to Overhaul New York State's Continuum of Mental Health Care

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced a $1 billion transformative, multi-year investment to overhaul the State’s continuum of mental health care and drastically reduce the number of New Yorkers with unmet mental health needs. As part of the FY 2024 Budget, the plan will correct a system that has suffered from decades of chronic underinvestment by dramatically expanding access, reducing wait times, and ensuring appropriate levels of care are provided to those who struggle with mental health issues. The Budget will provide funding for new residential units, increase inpatient capacity, and dramatically expand outpatient services. In addition, there will be investments in peer-based outreach, an expansion of school-based mental health services, and the closing of gaps in insurance coverage for behavioral health services. Read more here.

Related: Governor Hochul Announces Highlights of Historic FY 2024 New York State Budget

After an Increase in Suicides, New York Launching New Mental Health Training for First Responders

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will commence new training for emergency personnel this month to help them cope with stress, PTSD and related disorders. In an exclusive interview with Spectrum News 1 on Wednesday, DHSES Commissioner Jackie Bray said the state received increased reports in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic of first responders burned out due to mental trauma and attempting or dying by suicide. Law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical officials are more likely to die by suicide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Read more here.

'Wellness Hub' Would Divert Those in Crisis from Courts, 'Motel System,' ER

GREENPORT — For the past two years, elected officials, police, social workers and mental health professionals in Columbia County have been meeting to hash out a plan that could change the way homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness are treated in the area. They are focused on plans to build The Wellness Hub, which backers say would address persistent problems faced by the city of Hudson and the wider county while genuinely helping those going through crises, as well as taking pressure off local police and the emergency room and saving the county money. Read more here.

A New Portrait of American Teenagers in Crisis

In 2021, 1 in 5 high school students said they witnessed violence in their communities, and 3.5 percent said they carried a gun. Nearly 9 percent of students said they’d been forced into sex in their life. A third of female students said they had considered suicide in the past year, and over 13 percent said they’d attempted suicide. A sweeping series of surveys of U.S. high school students released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have an urgent message for parents and policymakers: America’s kids are in crisis. Read more here.

Related: Percentage of teen girls considering, attempting suicide rose in second year of pandemic: CDC

Rise in Suicide-Related ED Visits Among Youth Raises Larger Questions Around Mental Health Care

DEA Temporarily Extends Virtual Prescribing for Controlled Substances

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said Wednesday that the decision to allow continued virtual prescribing was informed by a “record 38,000 comments on its proposed telemedicine rules.” These proposed rules, announced back in February, would allow providers to prescribe patients a 30-day supply of “Schedule III-V non-narcotic controlled medications” as well as buprenorphine, a treatment for opioid use disorder, without requiring an in-person visit. The DEA expanded telehealth flexibilities shortly after the pandemic began in order to ensure patients were still able to access care despite lockdown. These flexibilities applied to all schedule II-V controlled substances. Read more here.

‘Whatever It Takes’: The Street Teams Who Help Mentally Ill New Yorkers

Chris Payton and Sonia Daley emerged from the subway into the brilliant sunshine to meet a client nesting on a pile of blankets near the Staten Island Ferry terminal in Manhattan. It had taken their team almost five months just to track down the 43-year-old homeless woman, chasing leads from the police and other homeless people. On this afternoon last August, they were trying to help her find the holy grail: an apartment where someone with a severe mental illness could build a stable life. The woman, M, flashed them a big smile. In her black baseball cap, long blond wig, oversize sunglasses and about 20 bracelets, she looked like a misplaced movie star. Read more here.

Related: SAMHSA - Expanding Access to and Use of Behavioral Health Services for People Experiencing Homelessness

Counties Address the Social Determinants of Health through Mobile Health Services

Healthy People 2030 defines the social determinants of health (SDOH) as the conditions in which we are born, live, work and play that both directly and indirectly impact overall health and well-being. This framework also highlights five domains to organize the social determinants of health, including economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment and social and community context. County leaders are well-positioned to understand the influence of SDOH on residents’ health and leverage them to create comprehensive systems change and eliminate barriers to health equity. Counties across the U.S. are actively exploring innovative ways to address the needs of their residents through the lens of SDOH. Read more here.

Related: UChicago study finds more evidence that social determinants of health closely linked to suicide risk

NASMHPD Releases Revised Behavioral Health Workforce Resource Guide


NASMHPD has released a revised version of its Behavioral Health Workforce Resource Guide, a living and evolving document that shares specific workforce strategies gathered from Mental Health Authorities around the US states, territories, Pacific Jurisdictions, and the District of Columbia. The Guide is designed to assist states in replicating strategies, encourage further sharing of ideas between states and territories, and spur creativity in developing new solutions to address the workforce crisis. The Guide builds upon the framework developed by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). This living document will be updated and added to over time as more information becomes available.

Related: SAMHSA - Addressing Burnout in the Behavioral Health Workforce through Organizational Strategies

The Trevor Project’s Annual U.S. National Survey of LGBTQ Young People Underscores Negative Mental Health Impacts of Anti-LGBTQ Policies & Victimization

The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, released the findings of its 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People on Tuesday, representing the experiences of more than 28,000 LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 across the country. The survey finds that LGBTQ young people continue to report significantly high rates of mental health challenges and suicide risk and that experiences of anti-LGBTQ stigma and victimization are associated with these disparities. However, the survey also underscores the protective nature of affirming homes and schools, and how LGBTQ young people would envision a more accepting world. Read more here.

SAMHSA to Sponsor Equity Challenge to Identify Organizations’ Successful Outreach Strategies to Connect Historically Underserved Communities to Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is sponsoring a Behavioral Health Equity Challenge, through which the Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE) intends to learn more about outreach and engagements strategies that foster behavioral health equity throughout the country.

The goal of the “The Behavioral Health Equity Challenge: Outreach and Engagement Strategies for Underserved Racial and Ethnic Communities” is to identify and highlight outreach and engagement strategies used by community-based organizations (CBOs) to increase access to mental health and substance use prevention and treatment services for racial and ethnic underserved communities. Read more here.

Surgeon General: We Have Become a Lonely Nation. It’s Time to Fix That.

A patient of mine once shared with me a most unusual story. He had worked for years in the food industry with a modest salary and humble lifestyle. Then he won the lottery. Overnight, his life changed. He quit his job and moved into a large house in a gated community.

Yet as he sat across from me, he sadly declared, “Winning the lottery was one of the worst things that ever happened to me.” Wealthy but alone, this once vivacious, social man no longer knew his neighbors and had lost touch with his former co-workers. He soon developed high blood pressure and diabetes. Read more here.

ALLEGANY: Allegany County’s Crime Victims program presents 2023 awards

BROOME: PwC Scholars renovate Truth Pharm, helping nonprofit continue advocacy for reducing harms of substance use

BROOME: $9.3 million grant for BU Community Schools

CATTARAUGUS: Cattaraugus County opioid overdose deaths skyrocketing due to fentanyl

CAYUGA: Local sheriff’s office becomes first law enforcement agency in New York to arm deputies with remote mental health resources

CAYUGA: Healing Cayuga: County uses data to reduce ODs, launches public dashboard

CAYUGA: Cayuga County Sheriff's Office, Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES team up for anti-drug PSA

CENTRAL NY: Inclusive Alliance Announces Five New Members To Provider Network

CHAUTAUQUA: Multiple New York counties taking part in study aimed at reducing opioid overdose deaths

CORTLAND: Cortland County Mental Health Awareness Walk - May 4

CORTLAND: County Calls for Settlement Money to Be Used On Detox Services

DUTCHESS: Dutchess mobile health RV ready to roll

ERIE: Common Council passes resolution calling for more mental health resources for Buffalo PD

ERIE: New Substance Use Disorder Treatment Center at St. Joseph Campus Gets $2.4 Million Boost

ERIE: Bestself Plans East Side Mental Health Clinic Less Than a Mile from Tops

ERIE: Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force meets to refocus efforts to prevent opioid poisoning deaths

MONROE: This URMC researcher wants to prevent teen suicide. A prestigious grant will fund her work

NYC: NYC Health + Hospitals, NYC HPD, and Comunilife Break Ground on New $41.5m Building with 93 Units of Affordable and Supportive Housing

NYC: Times Square coffee stand aims to reduce homelessness stigma

NYC: The City - How We Matched Thousands of NYC School Records for Our School Mental Health Tool

ONEIDA: Oneida County reports more overdoses involving laced synthetic marijuana

OSWEGO: Oswego Health and community partners come together for Mental Health Awareness Month

PUTNAM: Putnam Creates Office For Individuals With Disabilities

SARATOGA: Saratoga County combats recent overdoses with Narcan

ST. LAWRENCE: St. Lawrence County Public Health Department warns the public of an increase in overdoses

TIOGA: Tioga County N.Y. health officials warn of spike in overdoses

TOMPKINS: Tompkins County Opioid Task Force asking for input on how to spend settlement money

WESTCHESTER: Westchester County Recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month

Steuben County DCS Retirement

DCSs from the Finger Lakes region recently celebrated colleague Hank Chapman's (center) retirement from over a decade in the role of DCS for Steuben County. Best wishes, Hank - we appreciate your many years of service to the Conference and to your community!

OMH Announces Opening of Regional Youth and Family Advocacy Specialist Positions Across NYS

OMH recently announced that, for the first time in history, the Office of Advocacy and Peer Support Services (OAPSS) will include Regional Youth Advocacy Specialists and Regional Family Advocacy Specialists in each OMH field office and in statewide positions. OAPSS works to ensure the inclusion of recipient and family perspectives into OMH policy making, planning, program development, and evaluation. The new staff will continue to ensure that the voice of those served and their families is at the center of everything that OMH does. Click here to view job descriptions.

KFF Brief: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Coverage in Medicare Advantage Plans

New Tool Accurately Predicts Suicide Risk in Serious Mental Illness

New DEA requirements may limit access to buprenorphine, a popular drug for opioid recovery

FDA approves long-acting injectable for schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder

San Diego County to pursue groundbreaking mental health training programs

Seattle libraries, transit branch into social work to take on mental health, drug use

Rite Aid Healthy Futures launches youth mental health program


Intergenerational Family Mental Health: MHANYS Innovative Programming

May 4, 12 - 1 pm, MHANYS

OASAS SAPT Supplemental Grant Information Session

May 4, 1 - 2 pm, OASAS

Labor of Love: Experiences of Harm Reduction Workers Using PhotoVoice

May 6, 4 - 6 pm, Peer Network of New York

WHAT'S GREAT IN OUR STATE 2023: A Celebration of Children's Mental Health

May 9, 9 am - 12:30 pm, OMH

PSYCKES for Health Homes and Care Management Agencies

May 9, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

MHFA Research Corner: Implementing MHFA in Correctional Facilities

May 9, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

SOC Virtual Summit: Better Together - Building Systems that Care

May 9 - 11, NTTAC

Sexual Misconduct: Boundaries and Ethics in Addiction Counseling – “Where’s the Line”

May 10 - 11, 9 am - 4 pm, OASAS

The State of Our Children’s Health

May 10, 1 - 2 pm, NICHM

The State Of Technology In Substance Use Recovery & Supporting The Rise Of CCBHCs

May 10, 1 - 2 pm, Therapy Brands

How to Build Peer Support Ecosystems: Peer Services Offered in Communities Make a Difference in People's Lives

May 10, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA/National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery

Keeping New Yorkers Covered as Pandemic-era Provisions Wind Down

May 10, 2 - 3 pm, NY Health Foundation

988/Crisis Workforce Challenges

May 10, 2 - 3 pm, Vibrant Emotional Health

Diagnosis and Treatment of Gaming Use Disorder

May 10, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Equitably Identifying Individuals for Care Management: Strategies for CalAIM and Beyond

May 15, 2 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Rural Telehealth & M-Health for Children & Youth

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

Enhancing Harm Reduction Services in Health Departments: Fentanyl Test Strips and Other Drug Checking Equipment

May 16, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Impact of the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

May 16, 3 - 4:30 pm, FORE

Engaging Families in SUD Services: A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP 39) Training

May 17 - 18, 9 am - 4 pm, OASAS

Supporting Individuals Living With A Mental Health Condition Through 988 & Mental Health Education

May 18, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

2023 Let's Talk About Health: Caring for Seniors in Rural New York - Virtual Conference

May 19, 8:30 am - 3:45 pm, University of Rochester Medical Center

Faces Of Depression In Primary Care: Depression Symptomology & Functional Outcomes From Early To Late Adulthood

May 24, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Opportunities for Primary Care and Medicaid to Help Prevent Child Welfare System Involvement

May 24, 12 - 1 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

A Fire Within: Working With the Rage of Trauma and Oppression

May 24, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

Peer Recovery Support Series, Part 4: Peer Supervision - Leadership and Lived Experience

May 25, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC



Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

May 4: 1 - 2 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call

May 9: 10 - 11:30 am

CLMHD Spring Full Membership Meeting

May 10 - 12, Embassy Suites, Saratoga Springs

Children & Families Committee Meeting

May 16: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Deputy DCS Call

May 23: 10 - 11 am

CLMHD Office Closed - Memorial Day

May 29


Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

June 1: 1 - 2:30 pm

AOT Coordinators Meeting

June 2: 10 - 11:30 am

Executive Committee Meeting

June 7: 8 - 9 am

Addiction Services & Supports (ASR) Committee Meeting

June 8: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

June 8: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call

June 13: 10 - 11:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

June 15: 1 - 3 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Juneteenth

June 19

Children & Families Committee Meeting

June 20: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Membership Call

June 21: 9 - 10:30 am

Deputy DCS Call

June 27: 10 - 11 am

CLICK HERE for 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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