May 8, 2024

CLMHD First Vice-Chair, Michael Orth, MSW, Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

On Tuesday, Michael Orth, MSW, Commissioner of the Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) in Westchester County, was honored with OMH's What's Great In Our State Lifetime Achievement Award. This annual event celebrates Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and promotes children’s mental health with highlights on the great work being done throughout the state of New York. Michael, who serves as CLMHD's First Vice-Chair, was recognized for his decades-long dedication to direct care, advocacy, and the oversight of programs for youth struggling with mental health issues. His passion for assisting children and families in New York State has helped to influence policy, programing, and funding for children's mental health. Congrats, Michael, on this well-deserved honor!

Attorney General James Secures Over $270 Million Multistate Settlement in Principle with Amneal Pharmaceuticals for Its Role in the Opioid Crisis

New York Attorney General Letitia James last week announced a multistate settlement in principle with opioid manufacturer Amneal Pharmaceuticals (Amneal) for its role in fueling the nationwide epidemic of opioid addictions and overdoses. Amneal produces several generic opioid products and was one of the largest manufacturers of opioids from 2006 to 2019, selling nearly nine billion pills. Attorney General James and a multistate coalition of attorneys general allege that Amneal knowingly failed to monitor and report suspicious orders placed by its customers, as it was required to by federal law. The settlement in principle announced today will provide $92.5 million in cash over 10 years and $180 million worth of naloxone nasal spray, an overdose treatment medication, to participating states and local governments. Read more here.

How Do You Help Patients Who Show Up In The ER 100 Times A Year?

Larry Moore, of Camden, N.J, defied the odds — he snatched his life back from a spiral of destruction. The question is: how? For more than two years straight, Moore was sick, homeless and close-to-death drunk — on mouthwash, cologne, anything with alcohol, he says. He landed in the hospital 70 times between the fall of 2014 and the summer of 2017. "I lived in the emergency room," the 56-year-old remembers. "They knew my name." Things got so bad, Moore would wait for the ER nurses to turn their backs so he could grab their hand sanitizer and drink it in the hospital bathroom. "That's addiction," he says. Then, in early 2018, something clicked, and turned Moore around. Today, he's more than five-years sober with his own apartment, and he has only needed the ER a handful of times since 2020. He's active in his church and building new relationships with his family. Read more here.

Related: Psych Staffing Linked to Shorter Stays in Pediatric Emergency Observation Unit

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Critical More Than $1.5 Billion State and Tribal Opioid Response Funding Opportunities

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced the 2024 State Opioid Response (SOR) and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Notices of Funding Opportunity, providing up to $1.48 billion to states, territories, and the District of Columbia and $63 million to Tribes to address the overdose crisis in fiscal year 2024. This funding is a critical investment in the President Biden’s Unity Agenda for the nation, and supports evidence-based, holistic practices that address the overdose crisis, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment such as the use of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), naloxone and other opioid overdose reversal medications, and recovery supports. Read more here.

New York State Announces $1 Million Awarded To Connect Transgender Youth with Mental Health Supports

The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced that $1 million was conditionally awarded to three service providers to fund suicide prevention efforts among youth and young adults identifying as transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary and help those questioning or struggling with gender identity. NY Foundling, Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York, and the Rainbow Access Initiative were each provided awards through the Connecting Youth to Mental Health Supports-TGNCNB initiative, part of the Lorena Borjas Transgender and Non-binary Wellness and Equity Fund, which provides funding to support community-based services for this underserved population and prioritizes trans-led and trans-staffed organizations. Read more here.

Related: Trevor Project’s 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People

A Pilot Program in Rural Vermont Hopes to Build a Blueprint for Substance Abuse Recovery

Tucked away on a quiet side street in downtown Bennington, Vermont, is the public library. It’s an imposing brick building, remodeled in the 1930s to mirror a 19th century courthouse with huge arched windows that bathe the interior in natural light, even in the gloom of Vermont’s long winter days. Recently, it’s been troubled by a very 21st century problem. The police arrived first, responding to a 911 call from library staff. A man lay unconscious in a bathroom stall, still and unresponsive. With the cubicle locked, an officer squeezed under the metal door enough to drag the 45-year-old, who by then had turned deathly purple, onto the bathroom floor. It was the second library overdose in six months. Within seconds, an officer had forced naloxone nasal spray, an opioid overdose treatment often known by its brand name Narcan, into the victim’s nose. As his color returned, his eyes shot open. Agitated but revived, he nervously admitted to injecting fentanyl but refused an ambulance to the local hospital. Read more here.

When Prison and Mental Illness Amount to a Death Sentence

Markus Johnson slumped naked against the wall of his cell, skin flecked with pepper spray, his face a mask of puzzlement, exhaustion and resignation. Four men in black tactical gear pinned him, his face to the concrete, to cuff his hands behind his back. He did not resist. He couldn’t. He was so gravely dehydrated he would be dead by their next shift change. “I didn’t do anything,” Mr. Johnson moaned as they pressed a shield between his shoulders. It was 1:19 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2019, in the Danville Correctional Center, a medium-security prison a few hours south of Chicago. Mr. Johnson, 21 and serving a short sentence for gun possession, was in the throes of a mental collapse that had gone largely untreated, but hardly unwatched. He had entered in good health, with hopes of using the time to gain work skills. But for the previous three weeks, Mr. Johnson, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, had refused to eat or take his medication. Most dangerous of all, he had stealthily stopped drinking water, hastening the physical collapse that often accompanies full-scale mental crises. Read more here.

As 988’s Second Birthday Approaches, All Eyes on Workforce and Training of Crisis Counselors

While Kristen Ellis was in graduate school for counseling, a loved one died by suicide. She was there and saw it happen, and the experience changed her life, leading her to take an early job at a crisis center while she was still in school. “As a family member I didn’t even know what to do,” she said. “It was scary.” She soon found out that the work of a crisis counselor can be both stressful and rewarding. “What an incredible opportunity to be able to support others when they are having the worst day of their life — to be able to hold that hope for them until they can hold it for themselves,” she said. A lot has changed in crisis work over the last few years, especially since July 2022, when the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned to the three-digit number 988. Read more here.

How Three Communities Are Advancing Systems-Wide Change to Expand Access to Housing

Communities need systemic solutions to address the rising demand for housing opportunities for people with behavioral health needs leaving incarceration, especially in the face of a nationwide shortage of affordable housing. This requires working collaboratively with state and local agencies, bringing together state housing finance agencies, departments of correction, public defenders, service providers, and many others, as well as people with lived experience in these systems. To support this work, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and Corporation for Supportive Housing hosted a Community of Practice, where jurisdictions came together as cross-sector teams. Key strategies that arose from these virtual sessions include (1) creating cross-agency governance structures, (2) aligning funding sources, and (3) reducing access barriers. Read more here.

Here’s What Sociologists Want You to Know About Teen Suicide

Between 2000 and 2015 in an affluent, predominately white community in the US, 19 young people died by suicide through what’s known as suicide clusters. These clusters refer to an unusually high rate of suicide for a community over a short period of time, often at least two deaths and one suicide attempt, or three deaths. Suicide clusters are an extreme example of youth mental health struggles — an issue that’s been getting more attention since the pandemic and one that’s at the center of an increasingly charged national conversation around social media and phones. Anna Mueller, a sociologist at Indiana University Bloomington, and Seth Abrutyn, a sociologist at the University of British Columbia, recently published Life Under Pressure: The Social Roots of Youth Suicide and What to Do About Them, which explores why these clusters happened and how to prevent more. Read more here.

The “Fix” For The Shortage

Of providing organizations serving consumers with autism, nearly two-thirds (61%) had wait times longer than 4 months. Over 15% reported waits of over one year or that they were no longer accepting new referrals. Of these provider organizations, 83% report that autism evaluations take over 3 hours. For 25%, evaluation completion times require 8 hours. And 44% of these provider organizations do not accept Medicaid while only 65% accept commercial insurance. This landscape creates stress for families seeking autism evaluations and on-going treatment for family members—and delays in treatment. While reliable autism diagnosis is possible as early as 18 months, in the U.S. the average age of diagnosis remains above four years. These analyses point to a few key factors in these delays to treatment—length of the autism evaluation processes, no U.S. standard of care in the diagnosis of autism, documentation requirements, and an ABA workforce shortage. Read more here.

CHEMUNG: The 19th Walk a Mile in My Shoes fundraiser helps spread suicide prevention awareness

CLINTON: Service Board looking to help tackle substance abuses prevention with SPARCC

CLINTON/WARREN: Behavioral health org to hire 100 people for Plattsburgh, Queensbury locations

ERIE: Buffalo Recording Studio Offers Young Rappers in State Custody a Place to Express Freely

ERIE: Record Overdose Deaths Recorded In Erie County As Nature of Crisis Keeps Changing

FRANKLIN: SLPD better equipped to help special sensory needs

LEWIS: Lewis County seeking public input on how to distribute opioid settlement money

MONROE: Therapy dogs offer support for Rochester students

MONROE: Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on 164-Unit Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Downtown Rochester

NYC: First pet-friendly shelter for unhoused families opens in the Bronx

NYC: Institute for Community Living on confronting mental health stigmas

NYC: Milestone and More: Child and Family Mental Health “Transformational” Leader is City’s New Mental Health Executive Deputy Commissioner

NYC: Mayor Adams Announces City has Served Over 750 Family Members of Fatal Overdose Victims Through First-in-Nation Support Program

NYC: New York officials detail mental health pilot program

ONONDAGA: Jim Stone’s Falk College Legacy: Service to the Advisory Board and Legislative Policy Day  

ST. LAWRENCE: Claxton-Hepburn gets $5 million grant for children's mental health

SUFFOLK: Stony Brook Medicine Hospitals Named National Leaders in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality

ULSTER: Ulster Legislators Ask County to Seek Alternate Providers outside Samadhi for Outpatient Program

WESTCHESTER: 'Fresh Start': Westchester County Second-Chance Program Celebrates Success A Year In

WESTCHESTER: Mental health crisis responders will soon have lights on vehicles

The ‘Invisible’: More Women Veterans Are Dying of Suicide and VA Still Lacks Resources, Advocates Say

Behavioral Health among Older Adults: Results from the 2021 and 2022 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health

Medication-assisted treatment, along with group therapy, found to improve inhibitory control in heroin addiction

Schizophrenia Patients Face Longer Hospitalization Stays for Non-Psychiatric Conditions

Rural Suicide: A Systematic Review/Recommendations

Factors Associated With Suicide Risk Behavior Outcomes Among Black Middle School Adolescents

Elevance Health Medicaid plan improves housing stability for Nevada beneficiaries

US FDA panel to discuss first psychedelic-assisted PTSD treatment next month


Consumer Perspectives on the Camden Coalition care Management RCT Study Findings

May 9, 12 - 1 pm, Camden Coalition

Beyond Stigma: Mental Health Help-Seeking Behaviors in Teens

May 9, 12 - 1 pm, The JED Foundation

Rapid Social Care Delivery System Evolution: The Partners In Care Foundation Case Study

May 9, 1 - 2 pm, OPEN MINDS

OMH, OASAS, and NYS Education Department Office of Professions Joint Presentation on Professional Scope of Practice FAQs

May 9, 1:30 - 3 pm, OMH, OASAS, NYSED

Speak Up: Person-Centered Language Drives Equity for Individuals with Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges

May 9, 1:30 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Rehabilitation Through Innovation - Practices Related to Addiction and Recovery that Lead to Hope and Resiliency

May 14, 1 - 3 pm, Opioid Affected Youth Initiative

Final Medicaid Rules, Part One: Access, Enrollee Engagement, and Provider Payment Transparency 

May 14, 3 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

2024 System of Care Virtual Summit 

May 14 - 16, 12 - 5 pm, NCCTAC

Bridging the Gap: Engaging Community Organizations and Peer Recovery Specialists in Your Work

May 15, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Advancing Equity in Adoption Through Innovative Provider Payments and Data-Driven Policy Changes

May 15, 1 - 2 pm, Social Current

Connecting the Continuum: How Prevention and Harm Reduction Connect

May 15, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Innovative Approaches for Improving the Transition from Hospitals to Schools: Supporting Youth During and Following a Suicide-Related Crisis

May 16, 12 - 1 pm, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Workforce Strategies That Drive Financial Sustainability: The New Vista Case Study

May 16, 1 - 2 pm, OPEN MINDS

Identifying Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Death Investigation

May 16, 2 - 3 pm, OMH SPCNY

2024 Children, Youth, and Young Adult Mental Health Symposium

May 17, 8 am - 5 pm, SAMHSA

Starting the Conversation About Teen Social Media Use with Help from the Family Media Plan

May 17, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Mental Health Outpatient Treatment and Rehabilitative Services (MHOTRS) Utilization Review (UR) Webinar

May 20, 2 - 3 pm, MCTAC

Call-to-Action for Building the Home-and Community-Based Services Workforce Data Infrastructure

May 21, 1 - 2 pm, National Council on Aging

Workforce Solutions Jam: Accelerating Investment in the Workforce Pipeline

May 21, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Final Medicaid Rules, Part Two: Managed Care Payments, Quality, and Oversight

May 21, 3 - 4 pm, Manatt Health

Unifying Vision, Unifying Mission: The Data-Driven Future Of Behavioral Health

May 21, 3 - 4 pm, OPEN MINDS

Care Coordination For Adult Patients With SMI – From Inpatient To Outpatient

May 22, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Combating Self-Stigma In Persons With Serious Mental Illness (SMI) With Narrative Enhancement & Cognitive Therapy (NECT)

May 22, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

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

Addressing Substance Use Disorder Among BIPOC Communities

May 29, 1 - 2 pm, COSSUP

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

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 pm, Temple University

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

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

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

Transitions of Care in Mental Health

June 18, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

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


Fidelis Care Behavioral Health Grant Applications Now Open to Providers and Organizations Across New York State

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



LGU Clinic Operators Meeting

May 14: 10 - 11:30 am

Membership Call

May 15: 9 - 10:30 am

Children & Families Committee Meeting

May 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm

LSP Support Session

May 23: 1 - 2:30 pm


Executive Committee Meeting

June 5: 8 - 9 am

AOT Coordinators Meeting

June 7: 10 - 11:30 am

LGU Clinic Operators Meeting

June 11: 10 - 11:00 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

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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