April 6, 2023

Governor Hochul Launches New Statewide Medicaid Pharmacy Benefit Program

Governor Kathy Hochul on April 1 launched NYRx, the state's new pharmacy benefit program, which will improve prescription drug access and coverage for the eight million New Yorkers enrolled in Medicaid statewide. The long-awaited transition will enable Medicaid recipients to access more prescription medications with fewer restrictions, reduce confusion over the brand-name and generic drugs covered by the program, and create the largest pharmacy network in New York State. Read more here.

Millions on Medicaid May Soon Lose Coverage as Pandemic Protections Expire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a closet-sized windowless office, Kialah Marshall maintains an Excel spreadsheet with a prosaic title, “Medicaid Unwinding,” the source material for a mind-numbing routine. Five days a week, she and a group of co-workers in a poor section of Kansas City, Missouri’s largest city, call 75 to 100 Medicaid recipients from a list of about 19,000 who receive care at Swope Health, a federally funded network of health clinics. Their assignment is straightforward: warning those patients that they could lose their health insurance for the first time in at least three years. Read more here.

Related: Transition from the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for Health Home Plus (HH+) Members

4/25 OMH WEBINAR: Unwinding the Public Health Emergency: Keeping New Yorkers Covered!

Governor Hochul Announces Availability of $2.2 Million for Programs to Connect New Yorkers with Addiction Services

Governor Kathy Hochul last Thursday announced the availability of $2.2 million through the state's Opioid Settlement Fund to help connect vulnerable New Yorkers to addiction services and other critical supports. Administered by the state Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the "Connections to Care" initiative will provide up to 11 grants for eligible providers to connect individuals in high-need and underserved populations to the services that will support long-term substance use disorder recovery and overall well-being.

Read more here.

Related: Worsening Opioid Crisis Drives More Addiction Treatment in ERs

Mothers Face Broken Addiction Treatment System

Kayla Quinones began having contractions a few hours after midnight. Her baby, Jacarri, was on the way. Quinones, 33, was homeless at the time and staying with a friend in upstate New York, and when she began to feel the undulating pains, spaced about 8 minutes apart, she called for help. Those pains, her friend told her, were contractions. They needed to get to a hospital. Before staying with her friend, Quinones spent 6 years living on the streets of Sullivan County, about 2 hours north of New York City. She had been using heroin for 7 years, and cocaine for the last 4. She was homeless for the majority of her pregnancy. And using for all of it. Read more here.

Related: Fear of Family Separation a Barrier to Addiction Care During Pregnancy

U.S. 'Flying Blind' When It Comes to Data on Substance Use in Pregnancy

Recovery High Schools Help Kids Heal from an Addiction and Build a Future

Every weekday at 5280 High School in Denver starts the same way. Students in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction gather on the steps of the school's indoor auditorium to discuss a topic chosen by staff members. One recent morning, they talked about mental health and sobriety. A teenage boy dressed in tan corduroys, a black hoodie, and sneakers went first.

"I didn't want to have, like, any emotion," he said. "So I thought, like, the best way to, like, put it down would be to do more and more and more drugs."

A classmate said she started doing drugs for fun and then got hooked. Another student said his addiction negatively impacts his mental health. A third announced an upcoming milestone. Read more here.

Symposium Discusses Mental Health Disparities in NY's Communities of Color

Mental health professionals and organizations are discussing the importance of breaking down stigma and providing culturally competent care. Understanding the unique and shared experiences of each generation of Black, indigenous and people of color can make the world more equitable.

“A key step we can take towards filling this gap is to center the voice of youth,” said Tiara Springer-Love, LMSW director of Youth Power of Families Together in New York State. “Nothing should be happening about young people without them being present, having a seat at the table, and being considered human.” Read more here.

988 Mental Crisis Hotline Sees More Use, Creating New Challenges

For those seeking mental health help, one of the most commonly linked-to and talked-about resources is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It can be a life-saving resource for those contemplating suicide or who are experiencing a mental health crisis. On July 16, 2022, after years of buildup and preparation, the Lifeline got a new number: 988. The three digits replace a longer toll-free number, 1-800-273-8255. The idea behind the move to what is now called the 988 National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was to make help more accessible to those in crisis. Read more here.

It’s All About Relationships: Driving Health Equity by Prioritizing Connections

What if a health care organization decided that in every patient-staff encounter, the relationship with the patient was as important as high-quality medical care? What if the measure of a strong care team was not just knowledgeable medical staff, but also staff with lived expertise who excelled at connecting with patients? What if a health system prioritized trusting relationships and partnerships with the communities they serve as much as they focused on profit and productivity? Through Advancing Integrated Models (AIM), supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by the Center for Health Care Strategies, we assisted eight health care pilot sites in supporting integrated and person-centered care for people with complex health and social needs. Read more here.

New HHS Report Released on Transgender Day of Visibility Offers Updated, Evidence-Based Roadmap for Supporting and Affirming LGBTQI+ Youth

A new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific research and consensus that LGBTQI+ youth are resilient and can thrive when they are supported and affirmed, but that pervasive discrimination, rejection, and bullying of LGBTQI+ youth has led to a nationwide mental health crisis. The report finds that this crisis is most acute for transgender youth, whose mental health and wellbeing is put at risk by policies that seek to restrict their access to appropriate health care and inclusion at school. Read more here.

FORE Issue Brief Explores How COVID-Era Flexibilities Affected Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

In a new issue brief, FORE reports the findings of researchers who surveyed nearly 500 MOUD patients and nearly 400 providers to explore how these changes affected them. They found there were few negative, unintended consequences of loosening restrictions on OUD treatment: providers did not report substantial increases in drug diversion, overdoses, or patients dropping out of treatment. But because the treatment changes were voluntary, not all providers adopted them and not all patients benefitted. Findings from these projects hold lessons for policymakers who are now considering whether to retain these flexibilities and what else may be needed to bring lifesaving treatment to more people

Taking SDOH Solutions To Scale

Social service programs will soon play a new role in the health care system. Earlier this year, CMS changed the rules for Medicaid health plans, allowing them to spend health care premiums on social service programs. CMS also recently approved the State of California’s proposal to provide Medicaid services in corrections facilities. And fourteen other states have applied to CMS for similar Medicaid corrections in-reach service waivers. These changes will increase the spending on services for health care-related housing, transportation, and food services. But bigger spending will increase the health plan demands for more rigor in defining best practices, in determining eligibility for services, and in models for performance measurement and reimbursement. Read more here.

Related: Understanding and Addressing Social Drivers of Health: Insights from the MetroHealth Institute for H.O.P.E.

BROOME: Free Narcan boxes installed in Broome County

CHAUTAUQUA: Wendel announces transformation of department

ERIE: People Inc. gets $2 million to expand telehealth program

ESSEX: Essex Co. continues to face staffing shortages

HERKIMER/ONEIDA: Community Foundation to Award Grants for Organizations Serving Older Adults

LONG ISLAND: Long Island Mental Health Patients Stuck in “Traffic Jam” of Hospital ERs

NYC: As a Part of Housing for Health, NYC Health + Hospitals Will Offer Eligible Patients One-On-One Support To Apply For Housing

NYC: Researchers say supporting a few thousand repeat offenders could be the key to reducing crime in NYC

NYC: NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Plan $30M Health Center In New York

ONEIDA: Oneida County urges more naloxone school access

ONONDAGA: Onondaga County reports 40 drug overdoses in 48-hour period

RENSSELAER: Rensselaer County plans ‘Narcan Blitz’ to curb overdoses

ROCKLAND: Suffern High School holds training session on administering lifesaving Narcan

SARATOGA: Task Force releases final report for school safety and security

SCHUYLER: Schuyler County in line to receive $362,000 in opioid settlement

STEUBEN: Steuben County Public Health Department Releases March Opioid Data

SUFFOLK: Riverhead Center Aims To Help Prevent Youth Suicide with Therapy, Other Services

SUFFOLK: Suffolk Legislature approves bill that mandates Narcan be available wherever AEDs are deployed

TIOGA: Tioga County officials warn of dangerous opioids

ULSTER: Opioid lawsuit funding assisting front-line addiction services

To build trust among LA’s unhoused, a street medicine team turns to technology

FDA grants de novo authorization to opioid overdose prevention, alert system

As states start to get opioid settlement cash, few are sharing how they spend it

Alcohol increases risk for gun-involved suicide among Americans

Geriatric drug overdose deaths in US quadrupled over 20 years

A New Way to Gauge Suicide Risk?

A systems science approach to identifying data gaps in national data sources on adolescent suicidal ideation and suicide attempt in the United States

Australia’s Unique and Rare Opportunity for Suicide Prevention


Linking Neural Circuits To Dysfunction In Schizophrenia

April 6, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Using the PSYCKES Clinical Summary

April 6, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

Changes & Updates regarding the Medically Fragile population HCBS Level of Care Determination

April 6, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH

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

New Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age

April 11, 9 am - 4 pm, OASAS

PSYCKES for County Local Government Units

April 11, 10 - 11 am, OMH

LGBTQ+ Care in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs

April 11, 2 - 3 pm, OASAS

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

Suicide Prevention and Post-Partum Depression among Black & African American Women

April 12, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Current Trends in Nicotine, THC, and Vaping

April 12, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Behavioral Health Parity Training for Service Providers

April 13, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYCDHMH

COD Series: Criminal Justice Involved Peer Support Part 2

April 13, 1 - 2:30 pm, Healthy Capital District

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - Long Island

April 13, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH/NYTAC

Understanding the Expanded Risk-Need-Responsivity Model, Supervision, Programming, and Dosage

April 13, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Transgender, Non-Confirming, Non-binary Cultural Competence

April 17, 9 am - 4 pm, OASAS

Implementing a Complex Care Shelter: Opportunities and Lessons Learned

April 17, 2 - 3 pm, National Alliance to End Homelessness

Integrating Community Health Workers into Primary Care to Support the Reentry Population

April 17, 3 - 4:15 pm, The Transitions Clinic Network

2023 Justice Center Summit

April 18 - 19, 25 - 26 - Event Flyer

Focusing on Reentry Housing and Family Engagement in Collaborative, Comprehensive Case Plans

April 18, 3 - 4 pm, CSG Justice Center

Considerations for Determining HCBS Eligibility for the SED Target Populations

April 19, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports

April 19, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

Housing Supports for Older Adults Experiencing Homelessness

April 19, 2 - 3 pm, HHRC

Leveraging County Health Rankings Data to Improve Community Health 

April 19, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

Trauma-Informed Care for Opioid Treatment

April 19, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Utilizing Community Health Workers for SDOH Screening and Housing Navigation

April 19, 3 - 4 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

Leveraging Telehealth to Improve Access & Reach in Rural Integrated Care

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

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - NYC

April 21, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH/NYTAC

ACEs Awareness Education Day 2023 (In person)

April 24, 11 am - 5 pm, Empire State Plaza, Albany,

NY Trauma Informed Coalition

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - Hudson River / North Country / Capital

April 24, 1 - 2:30 pm, OMH/MCTAC

Changes & Updates regarding the Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) Population HCBS Level of Care Determination

April 24, 2 - 3:30 pm, DOH

Unwinding the Public Health Emergency: Keeping New Yorkers Covered!

April 25, 10 - 11 am, OMH/NYTAC

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads

April 25, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Changes & Updates regarding the Medically Fragile (MF) Population HCBS Level of Care Determination

April 26, 11 am - 12:30 pm, DOH

The Role Of Neurobehavioral Therapies In Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

April 26, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - Central

April 26, 12 - 1:30 pm, OMH/NYTAC

Behavioral Health Parity 101 

April 27, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYCDHMH

CORE Virtual Regional Learning Session - Western

April 27, 12 - 1:30 pm, OMH/NYTAC

Harm Reduction Office Hours with Providers

April 27, 2 - 3:30 pm, OASAS

Peer Recovery Support Series, Part 3: Inclusive Outreach for Beginners - How to Create More Diverse Spaces in the Recovery Community

April 27, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

PSYCKES for BHCCs and Other Networks

May 3, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

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

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

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

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

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



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

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

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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