March 23, 2023

Governor Hochul Launches Statewide Listening Tour on Youth Mental Health

Governor Kathy Hochul last Friday announced a statewide series of listening sessions and a spring summit aimed at exploring the issues impacting the mental health of youth throughout New York State. Together, these initiatives will build on the Governor's $1 billion plan to overhaul New York State's mental health continuum of care and provide an opportunity for experts to advise state leaders on future policy recommendations to improve youth wellness. Read more here.

As Opioid Deaths Keep Rising, Report Urges Lawmakers to Develop New Approaches

Lawmakers should view America’s staggering opioid crisis, including the rise of illicit fentanyl, through an “ecosystems” approach, argues a massive RAND Corporation report published Thursday. That means they should examine the gaps and interconnections among emergency response, data collection, education, treatment, housing and law enforcement, the report advises. Read more here.

Related: Methadone doses haven’t kept up in the age of fentanyl. A new rule aims to help

NACo Webinar Recap: County Strategies to Recruit and Retain a Strong Behavioral Health Workforce

For county governments, a strong and fully staffed behavioral health workforce is key to supporting people living with behavioral health conditions. Like other sectors, county governments are experiencing a shortage in local behavioral health workforce. Roughly one third of the U.S. population lives in a county with a shortage of mental health professionals. In response to the workforce shortage, county governments are deploying innovative plans to recruit and retain local behavioral health workers. The National Association of Counties recently held a webinar to discuss the challenges and solutions. Read more here.

Mental Health Care by Video Fills Gaps in Rural Nursing Homes

KNOXVILLE, Iowa ― Bette Helm was glad to have someone to talk with about her insomnia. Helm lives in a nursing home in this central Iowa town of about 7,500 people, where mental health services are sparse. On a recent morning, she had an appointment with a psychiatric nurse practitioner about 800 miles away in Austin, Texas. They spoke via video, with Helm using an iPad she held on her lap while sitting in her bed. Video visits are an increasingly common way for residents of small-town nursing homes to receive mental health care. Patients don’t have to travel to a clinic. They don’t even have to get cleaned up and leave their bedrooms, which can be daunting for people with depression or anxiety. Read more here.

Related: Digital Access: A Super Determinant of Health

Number of Primary Care Physicians Addressing Mental Health Concerns Hits All-Time High

The percentage of primary care visits addressing mental health concerns increased from 10.7% in 2006 and 2007, to 15.9% by 2016 and 2018. That’s according to a recent study published in Health Affairs that shows a growing involvement of primary care clinicians in addressing behavioral health concerns. As part of the study, researchers analyzed a sample of 109,890 visits that took place between 2006 to 2018. Read more here.

David Banks Wants to Bolster Career Education in NYC Schools. Here’s How.

Afua Siaw dreamed of being a pediatrician. So when it came time to pick a high school, she chose the High School for Health Professions & Human Services — a decision based largely on the school’s name. Siaw didn’t know when she applied five years ago that the Manhattan campus boasted a career and technical education program culminating with a chance to earn a medical assistant certification. Her experience learning about front-line medical work turned her off to pursuing it as a career. But her school coordinated a virtual internship where she conducted survey research to help find solutions to local health disparities, sparking her interest in career possibilities beyond pediatrics. Read more here.

America’s Behavioral Health Crisis Is Worsening, New Statistics Suggest

The demand for behavioral health services continues to outpace the supply of services. In particular, the demand for eating disorder and anxiety disorder treatment has grown significantly since 2019, according to a new report by Trilliant Health. For example, the visit volume for eating disorders has increased by 52.6% from 2019 to 2022. Additionally, visit volume has increased by 47.9% for anxiety disorders and 27.4% for substance use disorders. Read more here.

Opinion: The Second Age of Psychedelic Therapies for Mental Health


Psychedelics like psilocybin and ketamine are being touted as the next generation of treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. There’s no question that a next generation is needed. But it’s not like flipping a switch: These therapies involve a novel administration paradigm, acceptance by regulatory bodies, and public appreciation of their unique medicinal value. Read more here.

Related: Johns Hopkins, Yale, and NYU are teaming up to tackle a key bottleneck that will arise as psychedelics come to market

Two Health Plans, Same Value-Based Data Challenge

Over the past year, Open Minds has met with countless health plan and provider organization executives, and one subject always comes up—the current and growing financial challenges for provider organizations. While the pandemic and inflation have increased the costs of delivering services, fee-for-service reimbursement rates are not following suit. Most executives agree that the solution is that provider organizations should be reimbursed based on value rather than volume, but there is a lack of consensus about what exactly constitutes “value.” Read more here.

Related: Optum, Aetna and UHS Leaders Offer ‘Outcomes Roadmap’ for Value-Based Contracting

Which States Have the Most Behavioral Health Medicaid Benefits

Fresh Starts, Guilty Pleasures And Other Pro Tips For Sticking To Good Habits

Katy Milkman played tennis at Princeton, and when she finished college, she went to the gym every day. But when she started grad school, her fitness routine went south.

"At the end of a long day of classes, I was exhausted," Milkman says. "Frankly, the last thing I wanted to do was drag myself to the gym. What I really wanted to do was watch TV or read Harry Potter."

But Milkman, who went on to study human behavior and decision-making, found a way to have her exercise and her Harry Potter, too: She resolved to only indulge her love of fantasy novels at the gym — listening to audio books through earbuds. The pairing did the trick.

Read more here.

ALBANY: Beyond Treatment: Understanding the Impact of Supporting Recovery at Second Chance Opportunities

ALBANY: Dan Flood's Long Goodbye

DUTCHESS: Dutchess County diverts low-risk offenders to case workers from parole officers

ERIE: Erie County leaders discuss grim overdose numbers and the changing landscape of drug use

FULTON/MONTGOMERY: Challenges to Mental Health Treatment in Rural Areas

LONG ISLAND: Fueled By Legal Sports Betting, Gambling Addiction Rises on Long Island, Experts Say

MADISON: Madison County officials cite host of accomplishments in 2022 annual review

MADISON: Madison County Addresses Growing Homeless Problem

MONROE: 'Zombie drug' detected in growing number of overdose deaths in Monroe County. What you should know

NASSAU: Nassau places Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, in county parks and offices

NIAGARA: Niagara County COs now armed with Narcan

NYC: Spotlight: Care Workers and the New York City Economy

NYC: Despite new directive, NYPD isn’t transporting more people with mental illness to the hospital

ONEIDA: Oneida County leaders support access to Narcan in schools amid surge in overdoses

ONONDAGA: Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon proposes nursing scholarships to fight emergency room crisis

SCHENECTADY: SUNY Schenectady and Ellis Medicine Collaboration Will Change Landscape of Healthcare Employment Opportunities and Nursing Education in the Capital Region

TOMPKINS: Open Access, Detox and Stabilization Center Prepares to Open in Tompkins County

DEA Reports Widespread Threat of Fentanyl Mixed with Xylazine

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the American public of a sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine. Xylazine, also known as “Tranq,” is a powerful sedative that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved for veterinary use. Xylazine and fentanyl drug mixtures place users at a higher risk of suffering a fatal drug poisoning. Because xylazine is not an opioid, naloxone (Narcan) does not reverse its effects. Still, experts always recommend administering naloxone if someone might be suffering a drug poisoning. People who inject drug mixtures containing xylazine also can develop severe wounds, including necrosis—the rotting of human tissue—that may lead to amputation. Read more here.

PODCAST: Unwind: The End of Continuous Coverage for Medicaid

As part of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) enacted by Congress, Medicaid programs were required to keep individuals continuously enrolled in the program to receive enhanced federal funding (typically, Medicaid requires an annual eligibility renewal). The continuous enrollment requirement was decoupled from the PHE through the Consolidated Appropriations Act (passed in late 2022) and is set to expire on April 1. States have some flexibility in how they "unwind" the automatic, continuous health coverage provisions that have been in place. To help make sense of how New York is approaching the unwind, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow for Health Policy Courtney Burke leads a conversation. Listen Now...

Prescription for Housing? California Wants Medicaid to Cover 6 Months of Rent

JAMA: Quality of Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Persons With and Without Disabling Conditions

CSG Justice Center Brief: Supporting Improved Responses to People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Positive results in phase 2 trial of add-on drug for treatment-resistant schizophrenia

KFF Brief: The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use

People who need people: Leveraging desire for connection to address suicide in autism


Pediatric Health Care Professional and Mental Health Specialist Collaboration

March 23, 1 - 2 pm, Bright Futures Let’s Talk Healthy Mental & Emotional Development Webinar Series

Youth and Family Partnership in Juvenile Justice Systems Reform: Building a Strategy, Sharing Power, and Shifting the Culture

March 23, 1 - 2 pm, CSG Justice Center

Harm reduction Office Hours with Providers

March 23, 2 - 3:30 pm, OASAS

The Sequential Intercept Model: Using Assisted Outpatient Treatment to Reduce the Need for Competency Restoration

March 23, 3 - 4 pm, SMI Advisor

Peer Support Service Models Success in Integrated Care Settings

March 23, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Expanding Access to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment During and After Incarceration

March 23, 3 - 4 pm, FORE

Advancing Health Equity for Community Members Returning from Incarceration: The Role of Community Health Workers

March 27, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

CMS Opens Door for Pre-Release Services for Justice-Involved Populations: Health Care and Justice System Implications

March 27, 2 - 3:15 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Virtual Summit: Steering in the Right Direction - Diversion and Supports for Transition-Age Youth in the Criminal Justice System

March 29, 12 - 5 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Workforce Development & Psychological Safety among BIPOC Women in Leadership

March 29, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

County Strategies to Provide Supportive Housing for Familiar Faces

March 29, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

Prioritizing Goals Of Treatment In Patients Diagnosed With Bipolar I Disorder: Results From A US Patient Survey Using Best-Worst Scaling

March 30, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Innovative Strategies to Address SDOH: Lessons From North Carolina’s Healthy Opportunities Pilots

March 30, 2 - 3 pm, Manatt Health

Mental Health in Communities of Color Symposium: Breaking the Stigma & Silence and Prioritizing Needs

March 31, 9 am - 2 pm

Linking Neural Circuits To Dysfunction In Schizophrenia

April 6, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Medicaid Authority and Opportunity to Build New Programs for Justice-Involved Individuals

April 6, 2 - 3 pm, Health Management Associates

Reducing Jail Populations: Lowering Recidivism through Jail- & Community-Based Treatment & Services

April 6, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

Sustainable Financing Approaches for Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to Address Health-Related Social Needs

April 6, 4 - 5 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Peer Support Office Hour/Q&A Session

April 11, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Ending the PHE: Implications for Counties

April 11, 3 - 4 pm, NACo

Behavioral Health Parity Training for Service Providers

April 13, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYCDHMH

2023 Justice Center Summit

April 18 - 19, 25 - 26 - Event Flyer

Housing Supports for Older Adults Experiencing Homelessness

April 19, 2 - 3 pm, HHRC

Leveraging Telehealth to Improve Access & Reach in Rural Integrated Care

April 20, 2 - 3:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Behavioral Health Parity 101 

April 27, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYCDHMH



Deputy DCS Call

March 28: 10 - 11 am


Executive Committee Meeting

April 5: 8 - 9 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

April 6: 1 - 2:30 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call

April 11: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting

April 13: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

April 13: 3 - 4 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting

April 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Membership Call

April 19: 9 - 10:30 am

Mentoring Session: Local Services Planning

April 20: 1 - 3 pm

Deputy DCS Call

April 25: 10 - 11 am

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

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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