August 31, 2023

Governor Hochul Directs $8 Million Towards Harm Reduction Strategies to Reduce Overdoses

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the launch of further funding opportunities to develop harm reduction interventions for priority populations who are particularly vulnerable to overdose, as well as study fatalities connected to opioids statewide. The New York State Department of Health recently posted two new Requests for Applications and directed additional investments in several harm reduction programs financed through the State’s Opioid Settlement Fund. These investments represent one component of Governor Hochul’s comprehensive approach to addressing New York State's opioid crisis. Read more here.

Related: As more teens overdose on fentanyl, schools face a drug crisis unlike any other

Governor Hochul Launches New Overdose Prevention Task Force

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the kickoff meeting for the Interagency Task Force on Overdose Prevention. Governor Hochul announced the creation of this task force in the 2023 State of the State address. Chaired by Commissioners Dr. Chinazo Cunningham from the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports and Dr. James McDonald from the New York State Department of Health, the group includes experts across seventeen state agencies and offices working collaboratively to combat the overdose epidemic in New York State. Read more here.

Related: Coordinated New York overdose taskforce holds inaugural meeting

Narcan Is Headed to Stores: What You Need to Know

Narcan, the first opioid overdose reversal medication approved for over-the-counter purchase, is being shipped to drugstore and grocery chains nationwide, its manufacturer said Wednesday. Big-box outlets like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Rite Aid said they expected Narcan to be available online and on many store shelves early next week. Public health experts have long called for greater accessibility to the drug, which they describe as a critical weapon against rising overdose rates. There were more than 100,000 opioid overdose fatalities in each of the last two years in the United States. Narcan is already a staple for emergency personnel and street outreach teams. Now scientists and health officials are hoping Narcan will eventually become commonplace in public libraries, subways, dorms, corner delis and street vending machines. Read more here.

SAMHSA Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS): Solicitation of Nominations for Additional Non-Voting Representatives on the Maternal Mental Health Task Force

(SAMHSA) is seeking applications from qualified individuals or organizations to be considered for non-voting representative positions on the Maternal Mental Health Task Force subcommittee of the Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS). ACWS advises the Associate Administrator for Women's Services (AAWS) on appropriate activities to be undertaken by SAMHSA with respect to women's substance use and mental health services. The Maternal Mental Health Task Force subcommittee will focus on maternal mental health and substance use including prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, equity, and community-based interventions. Applications are due by September 22, 2023. Read more here.

New Recap on the Rural Behavioral Health Workforce

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (MHPSA) identifying areas that lack professionals who can provide mental and behavioral health services. As of March 31, 2023, there were 4,040 MHPSAs in rural areas, with 2,141 practitioners needed to remove the designations. This recap examines the behavioral health workforce, including the distribution of social workers, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, counselors, and psychiatrists. Read more here.

Related: Quantifying complex care staffing models

Tonko Heralds $4 Million+ for New York to Address Mental Health Crisis

Congressman Paul D. Tonko last Friday cheered the announcement that New York will receive a grant totaling $4,009,623 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) program to address our nation’s mental health crisis. This funding, part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) that was signed into law by President Biden last year with Congressman Tonko’s strong support, is part of more than $64 million in total grants awarded to states and U.S. territories to tackle issues related to mental illness and provide mental health services and awareness training. Read more here.

We Need Comprehensive Illicit Drug Analysis Now to Stop Overdose Deaths

While fentanyl has dominated the headlines, talk in public health circles has shifted to a new illicit drug on the street: xylazine. Xylazine, also known as “tranq” or “zombie drug,” has infiltrated the illicit fentanyl market, generally in the form of a fentanyl-xylazine combination. The nonopioid tranquilizer xylazine likely extends the effects of opioids, bringing new and unique challenges. Commonly used as a veterinary sedative, xylazine can cause injection site wounds that lead to necrosis or amputation. Its rise spotlights the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the illicit drug market. New substances— bath salts, spice, K2, synthetic cannabinoids and fentanyl analogs—continually appear there, given the ready availability of their chemical precursors, and arising from attempts to skirt laws and regulations, or simply out of consumer preference, with alarming frequency. Read more here.

New Tools Enable Non-Clinicians to Diagnose Substance Use Disorders

Many of the diagnostic measures for opioid and stimulant use disorders currently available have barriers for usage—along with long interviews and fees, a clinician must administer them. A new study by Yale School of Medicine (YSM) and NYU Grossman School of Medicine researchers demonstrates the validity of two new diagnostic tools—the Rapid Opioid Use Disorder Assessment and the Rapid Stimulant Use Disorder Assessment. These instruments may be used to increase diagnoses of opioid and stimulant use disorder and access to treatment, as they can be easily administered by non-clinical personnel. Read more here.

Few Follow-Up Visits Means Telehealth Could Lead to Behavioral Health Fragmentation

Telehealth has become one of the most popular ways for patients to access behavioral health care in the country, but it could lead to a more fragmented patient journey. That’s according to new research by Trilliant Health, which used its national payer claims database to find the percentage of patients who used virtual health and then had an in-person follow-up visit for the same health concern within a week. The latest report found that between Q1 2021 and Q3 2022, only 11.1% of telehealth visits nationally resulted in an in-person follow-up visit for the same clinical reason within a week. Read more here.

TIME: America Has Reached Peak Therapy. Why Is Our Mental Health Getting Worse?

The U.S. has reached peak therapy. Counseling has become fodder for hit books, podcasts, and movies. Professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians routinely go public with their mental health struggles. And everyone is talking—correctly or not—in the language of therapy, peppering conversations with references to gaslighting, toxic people, and boundaries.

All this mainstream awareness is reflected in the data too: by the latest federal estimates, about one in eight U.S. adults now takes an antidepressant and one in five has recently received some kind of mental-health care, an increase of almost 15 million people in treatment  since 2002. Even in the recent past—from 2019 to 2022—use of mental-health services jumped by almost 40% among millions of U.S. adults with commercial insurance, according to a recent study in JAMA Health Forum. Read more here.

BROOME: Broome County awarded $1.6 million from landmark opioid settlement

BROOME: Broome County Health Department sees increase in suspected overdoses

CATTARAUGUS: Hearing set for ban on smoking tobacco, cannabis on Cattaraugus County property

CLINTON: Efforts in Rural New York Communities Aim to Prevent Children From Entering Foster Care

ERIE: Fidelis Care commits $1.1 million to Buffalo Urban League for new center

LIVINGSTON: Independent Living notes needs for Livingston County

NYC: Office Of Public Safety Holds Briefing On Public Safety In New York City

NYC: Homeless parents entering the shelter system looking to reunite with their children have got a long hard road

NYC: Beds in Bed-Stuy: Interfaith Medical Center opens $13.8M behavioral health unit

ONONDAGA: $2.5 million facility planned to give mentally ill kids stuck at Upstate Golisano someplace to go

ONONDAGA: Amid youth mental health crisis, train school staff to prevent suicide (Guest Opinion by Pamela Hunter)

PUTNAM: Overdose Deaths Drop in Putnam, But Fentanyl Remains Acute Crisis

RENSSELAER: New residential addiction treatment center opens in Troy

SARATOGA: RISE Prepares to Open First Capital Region Mental Health Intensive Crisis Residence

SARATOGA: Shenendehowa votes to sue social media companies over impact on youth mental health

SARATOGA: Saratoga County, SPAC launch NaloxBox program

SCHENECTADY: Schenectady continues to grapple with overdose spike, working on solutions

SUFFOLK: Suffolk opioid fund seeks next round of applications

SULLIVAN: The Liberty House opens offering a safe place for Sullivan’s youth

WESTCHESTER: How foster kids are being damaged by a lack of home care facilities

Analyzing Trends in Suicide Attempts Among the Pediatric Population in the United States: A Study Using CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Prevalence of Cannabis Use Disorder and Reasons for Use Among Adults in a US State Where Recreational Cannabis Use Is Legal

West Virginia Targets Crowded ERs with New Pediatric Behavioral Health Program

A prison pipeline that could help meet Oregon’s behavioral health workforce needs

22 Washington Counties Sue the State Over Lack of Mental Health Care

California Tries Paying Drug Users to Stay Sober

How Houston Cut Its Homeless Population by Nearly Two-Thirds


CoE-IHS Discussion Hour: State Innovations to Improve Integrated Care

August 31, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Emerging Drug Trends and the Effects on Safety and Risk to Children and Parents

August 31, 2 - 3 pm, NCSAC

Medication-Assisted Treatment Services and Community Reentry

August 31, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

State Spotlights: Improving Timely Health Care for Children and Youth in Foster Care

August 31, 3 - 4 pm, CMS

Peer Recovery Support Series, Part 7: Storytelling for Recovery Professionals

August 31, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

Views From the Field: Enhancing Care for Black and African American Health Disparities in Rural Areas

September 6, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Alternative First Responder Models Can Support Youth in Crisis

September 7, 1 - 2 pm, CSG Justice Center

Getting Candid: Practical Guidance for Framing the Conversation Around Youth Substance Use Prevention

September 7, 1:30 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Addressing Americans with Disabilities Act Obligations and Access to Care in the Justice System

September 7, 1:30 - 3 pm, CSG Justice Center

State Medicaid programs breaking new ground to address the social drivers of health: A discussion on opportunities for states and implications for community-based care

September 7, 3 - 4 pm, Camden Coalition

Views From the Field: Enhancing Care for Black and African American Health Disparities in Rural Areas

September 7, 3 - 4 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Insomnia, Hyperarousal, and Suicide in Psychosis

September 8, 12 - 1 pm, SMI Advisor

NY Council on Problem Gambling: Shine a Light Recovery Picnic

September 9, 11 am - 5 pm, Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls, NY (Dutchess County)

New Data: State of the Healthcare Employee Experience 2023

September 11, 11 am - 12 pm, Becker's Hospital Review

How Criminal Justice Can Work Better with Therapists and Psychologists in Youth and Family Cases

September 12, 1 - 2:15 pm,

Coming Face To Face With Suicide in American Farming

September 12, 2:30 - 4 pm, NIH

Defining, Clarifying, & Implementing Digital Tools For Mental Health

September 13, 12 - 1 pm PsychU

988’s Role in Supporting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

September 13, 2 - 3 pm, Vibrant/ National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) 

Recovery Capital: Assets, Not Abstinence

September 13, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Maximizing Public Funding Streams to Expand Access to Evidence-Based Substance Use Disorder Services

September 18, 2 - 3:15 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Care Coordination Coming (Or Changing) In A State Near You

September 19, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Mental Health Parity Update: Key Takeaways From the Newest Regulatory Guidance and Litigation Trends

September 19, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt Health

Enhancing Harm Reduction Services in Health Departments: Harm Reduction Vending Machines

September 19, 1:30 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

The Poison Center’s Role in Suicide Prevention: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications and the Risk for Harm

September 20, 10 - 11 am, NYC and Upstate NY Poison Centers and the NYS OMH Suicide Prevention Center

Engaging Community Stakeholders to Reduce Mental Health Inequities in the Hispanic Community

September 21, 12:30 - 2 pm, NIH

Peer Recovery Support Series, Part 8: Ethics, Confidentiality, and Boundaries in Peer Recovery

September 21, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

CoE-IHS Webinar: Partnering with Schools to Improve Youth Mental Health

September 26, 11 am - 12 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Using Progressive Practices to Promote Wellness & Recovery for Veterans

September 26, 12 - 2 pm, NASW-NYS

Harm Reduction, Limited Gambling and Countertransference

September 27, 12 - 1:30 pm, NY Council on Problem Gambling

Healthy Families for a Healthy Workforce

September 28, 12 - 1 pm, MHANYS

Understanding the Population of People with Frequent Jail Contact

September 29, 1 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Key Takeaways: Survey Of 4,000 Health Plans On Behavioral Health’s Future

October 24, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU


HRSA Health Workforce

NYS Grants Gateway

NY Health Foundation

OASAS Procurements

OMH Procurements

OPWDD Procurements

Rural Health Information Hub - New York

SAMHSA Grants Dashboard



CLMHD Office Closed - Labor Day

September 4

CLMHD Executive Committee Meeting

September 6: 8 - 9 am

LGU Clinic Operators Call

September 12: 10 - 11:30 am

Addiction Services & Supports (ASR) Committee Meeting

September 14: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

September 14: 3 - 4 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting

September 19: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Membership Call

September 20: 9 - 10:30 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

September 21: 1 - 2:30 pm

Deputy DCS Call

September 26: 10 - 11 am

Mentoring: Steps to Developing a Threat Assessment Group in Your County

September 27: 11:30 am - 1 pm

SAVE THE DATE: Fall 2023 Full Membership Meeting

October 25 - 27, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

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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