March 30, 2023

F.D.A. Approves Narcan for Over-the-Counter Sales

Narcan, a prescription nasal spray that reverses opioid overdoses, can now be sold over the counter, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday, authorizing a move long-sought by public health officials and treatment experts, who hope wider availability of the medicine will reduce the nation’s alarmingly high drug fatality rates. By late summer, over-the-counter Narcan, could be for sale in big-box chains, vending machines, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and even online retailers. Read more here.

New York State Department of Health Encourages New Yorkers to Prepare for Public Health Insurance Renewals

The New York State Department of Health recently announced that beginning this spring and continuing through spring 2024, more than 9 million New Yorkers enrolled in Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan will need to renew their health insurance. Enrollees in these public health insurance programs have not had to renew their coverage since early 2020 due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) continuous coverage requirements. However, the December 2022 federal Consolidated Appropriations Act included new rules ending the continuous coverage requirements starting Spring 2023. These new federal rules now require states, including New York State to begin redetermining eligibility for public program enrollees in the Spring of 2023. Read more here.

‘The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher’: How DEA’s Proposal Will Affect Telehealth Controlled Substance Prescribing

Like many startup founders, Zack Gray’s reason for creating his company was personal. He founded Ophelia — a digital health startup that provides prescriptions to manage opioid addiction via telehealth — in 2019 after losing his girlfriend to an overdose from drugs meant to treat her accidental opioid addiction. For a number of reasons, she had to turn to the black market to get buprenorphine and suboxone to treat her addiction. These reasons included convenience, stigma, her inability to take time off work and the fact that she was a private person. She ended up spending thousands of dollars per month on these treatments in an effort to get better. But self-treatment without guidance from a medical professional can be dangerous. Read more here.

Related: A Complex Regulatory Landscape Emerges for Telemedicine

DEA Faces Tsunami of Criticism In Comments on Proposed Telehealth-Controlled Substances Rules

County Officials Discuss Harm Reduction as a Path Forward Through the Overdose Epidemic

In 2021, over 100,000 people died from drug overdose – more than any year in American history. At NACo’s 2023 Legislative Conference, county officials discussed harm reduction as a path forward through the opioid epidemic. Harm reduction is both a large scale and individual approach to serving people with substance use disorder (SUD) that aims to minimize negative health outcomes for people who are underserved by the formal treatment system. Harm reduction strategies range from low-barrier access to sterile supplies for safer substance use (a core function of syringe services programs, or SSPs), same day access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), to helping people access services and resources that meet their individual hierarchy of needs. Read more here.

Related: Overdose expert: Allow supervised injection sites

Newly Available Test Strips Can Detect Lethal ‘Tranq’ in Drug Supply

Public health workers will soon have a new tool at their disposal to thwart a spreading danger to users of illicit drugs: xylazine test strips. The new testing kits will allow health departments, grassroots harm-reduction groups, and individual drug users to test substances for the presence of xylazine, a sedative often referred to as “tranq.” The toxin is increasingly common in the U.S. illicit-drug supply — especially in the Philadelphia area, but increasingly in other cities, too. Xylazine, which is typically used as a sedative in veterinary settings, can cause people to stop breathing, and also often causes severe skin wounds when injected. Read more here.

Related: Hidden Fentanyl Can Kill. Test Strips Can Help Make Drug Use Safer.

As 988 Crisis Line Sees More Use, States Debate How to Pay for It

Almost everyone agrees that putting money behind the national suicide and crisis hotline is a good thing.

But not everyone thinks a new phone tax is the best way to pay for it. Since the crisis line’s easy-to-remember 988 number launched last July, its use has increased significantly. The lifeline had 404,194 calls, chats and texts in February alone, an increase of 161,678 contacts over February 2022. Calls answered increased by 48%, chats answered by 247% and texts by 1,599%. (Some calls went unanswered, either because a caller hung up or there was a technical service interruption.) Read more here.

Hospitals Are Increasingly Crowded With Kids Who Tried to Harm Themselves, Study Finds

The portion of American hospital beds occupied by children with suicidal or self-harming behavior has soared over the course of a decade, a large study of admissions to acute care hospitals shows. An analysis of 4,767,840 pediatric hospitalizations by researchers at Dartmouth, published on Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA, found that between 2009 and 2019, mental health hospitalizations increased by 25.8 percent and cost $1.37 billion. The study did not include psychiatric hospitals, or reflect the years of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that it is a considerable undercount. Read more here.

Related: Kids' Mental Health Hospitalizations Surged Over Past Decade

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

Through a partnership with The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability and The Council of State Governments Justice Center, four Justice and Mental Health Collaboration grant programs received technical assistance and support to improve their responses to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Based on this assistance, four overarching themes emerged that can be used to guide other programs in their efforts to enhance responses to this population. This brief highlights those themes and gives an overview of each grantee’s program, including the work they have done with the help of this technical assistance.

Related: NYSOFA presents new resource guide to help older adults caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

How Value-Based Care Could Transform Serious Mental Illness Treatment

It’s no secret that patients with serious mental illnesses (SMIs) are costly to care for and have significantly worse outcomes than their peers. But value-based care models could enable providers to get creative in caring for these patients, leading to better outcomes and lower costs. Specifically, the value-focused model could allow providers to use wrap-around services that address social determinants of health and focus on whole-person wellbeing. California-based Amae is looking to treat SMI by focusing on patients’ physical, psycho mental, and societal and community wellness. Read more here.

Related: ‘It’s Extremely Difficult’: Payvider Models Demonstrate How Far Behavioral Health Integration Challenges Go

Shifting the Power Balance: Creating Health System Accountability through Trusted Community Partnerships

Health care systems across the U.S. are increasingly focused on opportunities to achieve greater health equity. Cultivating meaningful relationships with their surrounding communities and involving community members in program and policy decision-making is integral for health systems to offer equitable care. By prioritizing collaborative relationships with community partners, health systems can better understand community needs and work together to design more responsive approaches to reduce health disparities and drive better health outcomes. This report outlines practical approaches to guide health systems in more meaningfully involving community members and being more accountable to the communities they serve. The report summarizes key findings for developing health systems that are more accountable to communities and outlines practical considerations to guide health systems in shifting the power balance to involve community members in decision-making processes.

CAYUGA: Cayuga County Launches Overdose Data Dashboard

CAYUGA: Healing Cayuga: County announces plans for opioid settlement funds

CHAUTAUQUA: Xylazine drug on the rise in Chautauqua County

CHAUTAUQUA: Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene and Social Services Merger Complete

ERIE: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield hosts community mental health discussion

ERIE: The Child Advocacy Center is Breaking Ground to Gain Ground in Erie County’s Child Abuse Response

JEFFERSON: Jefferson County to create job to oversee homeless-related issues

JEFFERSON: Rock River Community Clinic hires new Behavioral Health Director

MONROE: Need grows for mental health services for young New Yorkers

MONROE: Rochester McDonald's employee acting as a voice for developmental disabilities in workforce

MONROE: Discussing barriers to mental health care in rural areas

NYC/LONG ISLAND: Advanced Health Network IPA and Recovery Health Solutions IPA (AHN/RHS) Partner with Unite Us to Support Integrated Behavioral Health and Social Care

NYC: NYPD grappling with skyrocketing teen violence despite plan to stop shootings near schools

ONEIDA: Beacon Center opens second location in Utica to expand access to mental health services

ONONDAGA: Onondaga County lawmakers looking at state program to help fill health, public safety jobs

OTSEGO: Oneonta event offers hope, healing for those struggling with addiction

OTSEGO: Bassett Hosts Major School-Based Health Conference

PUTNAM: New Court For Veterans Will Offer Substance Abuse, Mental Health Treatment In Putnam

STEUBEN: Steuben County Announces Opioid Settlement

SUFFOLK: Applications Open for Suffolk County Scholarships for Alcohol/Substance Abuse Counselor Training

SUFFOLK: 1st Youth Suicide-Prevention Center Set To Open On Long Island

TOMPKINS: Tompkins County to Implement CARE Team as Part of Crisis Responses, Intertwining Health Care and Law Enforcement

ULSTER: Projects selected for Ulster County opioid settlement fund awards

WESTERN NY: Students get close look at healthcare careers at GLOW With Your Hands event

Drug Court Enrollment Has Plummeted After Changes to Criminal Justice Laws

Justin Roti Roti polished off his drink of choice, a 1.75 liter bottle of Ten High whiskey. He left his friend’s home at around 2 a.m. that night three years ago. He soon saw flashing lights and pulled into a Burger King parking lot off Route 9 with a police car behind him. Roti Roti stepped out, put his hands up and acknowledged he had been drinking. He was intoxicated at twice the legal limit. Police charged him with a felony for driving while intoxicated, the second time he had been charged with drunk driving. When the case finally advanced over a year later — delayed by the pandemic — he was offered a choice: spend up to 3 years in prison or enter a drug court program.  Read more here.

Data Snapshot: Veteran Suicide in New York State (2011–2020)

Medicaid Data Show Wide Differences in Mental Health Care in the United States

Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN): Non-Fatal Overdoses Short Report - March 2023

Social media is part of a ‘self-perpetuating cycle of risk’ for eating disorders and negative body image, per study

Health Providers Scramble to Keep Remaining Staff Amid Medicaid Rate Debate

UnitedHealthcare study: College students more likely to face mental health needs than parents think


Medicaid Advantage Plus (MAP) Plan Overview for CORE Service Providers - Pre-recorded Webinar Now Available

Original webinar held on March 13, MCTAC

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

Changes & Updates regarding the Serious Emotional Disturbance population HCBS Level of Care Determination

April 4, 2 - 3:30 pm, OMH

Health Access and SDOH: Mobile Outreach for the Unsheltered Homeless

April 5, 3 - 4:30 pm, Corporation for Supportive Housing

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

PSYCKES for County Local Government Units

April 11, 10 - 11 am, OMH

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

COD Series: Criminal Justice Involved Peer Support Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads

April 25, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Behavioral Health Parity 101 

April 27, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYCDHMH

Harm Reduction Office Hours with Providers

April 27, 2 - 3:30 pm, OASAS

PSYCKES for BHCCs and Other Networks

May 3, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

PSYCKES for Health Homes and Care Management Agencies

May 9, 10 - 11:30 am, OMH



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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