February 2, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Highlights of FY 2024 Executive Budget

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday outlined her Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget. The FY 2024 Executive Budget reflects Governor Hochul's bold agenda to make New York more affordable, more livable, and safer by making smart, responsible investments in mental health care, public safety, housing, education, climate initiatives, and more. 

"I'm committed to doing everything in my power to make the Empire State a more affordable, more livable, safer place for all New Yorkers," Governor Hochul said.

"We will make bold, transformative investments that lift up New Yorkers while maintaining solid fiscal footing in uncertain times." Read more here.

Related: Takeaways from Hochul’s state budget proposal

Mayor Eric Adams Promises Mental Telehealth Support for All NYC High School Students

All New York City high school students will have access to mental health support through telehealth programs, Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday, his first major effort to address growing concerns about student wellbeing. 

“This year we’re rolling out the biggest student mental health program in the country,” Adams said during his annual State of the City speech at the Queens Theatre. “We will provide our high school students with everything from telehealth care to community-based counseling depending on their individual needs.” Read more here.

Related: Suicide risk screening in high schools successfully identifies at-risk students

Report: Low Salary Contributes to NY Social Workers Leaving Field

A new report shows social workers are not being paid equal to similar professions. The report, from the National Association of Social Workers New York Chapter, finds 34% of social workers surveyed are at the same salary they were when they started their job, which on average began one to five years ago. Many feel this is one piece of a larger puzzle contributing to social workers leaving the field. Report author Olivia Knox - BSW and policy assistant with the NASW's New York Chapter - said stagnant wages could make people leave the field for something different. Read more here.

Related: New York Facing State Government Workforce Crisis As Retirements Soar

Resources on Strengthening the Direct Service Workforce

Direct service workers provide essential supports to older adults and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and behavioral health needs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce the release of an online training course and a series of resources that offer strategies and information on self-direction, strengthening the direct service workforce (DSW) in rural areas, and strategies emerging from CMS’ 2021 DSW State Medicaid Learning Collaborative. Read more about these resources here.

Hospitals Say Staffing Gaps Could Be Relieved By NY Medicaid Changes 

Numerous upstate hospitals are wrestling with fiscal shortfalls and staffing shortages that could be lessened by increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates that only pay for a portion of care that is delivered, according to an upstate hospital association.

“The cost of labor has just gone through the roof over the last few years,” Gary Fitzgerald, president and CEO of the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance, told CNHI.

Iroquois — an association representing 54 hospitals and health systems — has deployed representatives to meet with key lawmakers and members of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s staff as the Hochul administration prepares to release a proposed state budget on February 1. Read more here.

NYS OASAS Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham: The End of the X-Waiver Is a Chance to Advance Health Equity

On January 12, the federal government announced an important change to drug policy that should enable greatly expanded access to buprenorphine, a crucial opioid use disorder medication. This change could stem the course of our nation’s devastating opioid-involved overdose epidemic. And it’s a step toward redressing policies that have harmed lower–income communities as well as Black, Indigenous and other people of color. Of the three medications approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder, methadone and buprenorphine are the most commonly prescribed. Both are proven to be effective, and greatly reduce a person’s risk of dying by overdose. Methadone, however, is tightly restricted; federal law permits it to be prescribed and administered only in specialized addiction treatment settings known as opioid treatment programs, or methadone clinics. Buprenorphine, on the other hand, may be prescribed in any setting. Many formulations can be self-administered. But until recently, health care providers had to obtain a Drug Addiction Treatment Act Waiver—commonly called an X-waiver—to prescribe it. Read more here.

CMS Approves Waiver to Enable California to Offer Medicaid Coverage to Incarcerated Individuals

The Biden administration approved a first-of-its-kind waiver that enables California to offer Medicaid coverage for beneficiaries before they get released from prison or jail. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the Section 1115 waiver on January 26 that helps connect Medicaid beneficiaries to providers before release. It is the first time Medicaid will offer coverage for those who are still in the justice system. 

Under the waiver, a Medicaid beneficiary can get substance use treatment if they are in a jail, prison or youth correctional facility. California can also help connect the beneficiary to a community-based Medicaid provider 90 days before they get released from the justice system. Read more here.

Related: Health Care Transitions for Individuals

Returning to the Community from a Public Institution: Promising Practices Identified by the Medicaid Reentry

Stakeholder Group

Increased Overdose Risk Among Previously Incarcerated With Opioid, Stimulant Use Disorders

Health Affairs: After Prison, Healthy Lives Built On Access To Care And Community

Autism Has Increased 500% Over the Past 16 Years in New York, New Jersey

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder that impacts communication, behavior, and social interactions. Autistic people can also have intellectual disabilities along with autism. For example, during 2000 through 2002, estimates indicated that around 50% of autistic children also had intellectual impairments. However, a decade later, less than one-third of children with ASD had intelligence quotient (IQ) scores within the intellectual disability range. What causes autism, besides certain genetic conditions, is largely unknown. What is known is that autism rates are increasing. According to the CDC, 2018 data indicates that about one in 44 children in the U.S. have ASD. In 2008, that number was one in 88, meaning the autism rate has doubled in the past 10 years. Read more here.

Recent Section 1115 Demonstration Approvals Highlight CMS and State Priorities

Section 1115 demonstration authority is one of the most powerful vehicles available to states to test innovation in their Medicaid programs. Under section 1115 authority, states can waive provisions of Medicaid law and obtain federal approval to fund initiatives not otherwise coverable by Medicaid, provided that proposals are budget neutral to the federal government and further the goals of the Medicaid program. In an issue brief prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program, Manatt Health describes how recent approvals in Arizona, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont highlight that states and CMS are leveraging 1115 demonstrations to implement new coverage strategies, address social drivers of health, strengthen the primary care and behavioral health delivery systems, institute value-based payment initiatives, and advance health equity.

Coordinating State and Local Resources: State Interagency Councils on Homelessness

State Interagency Councils on Homelessness (ICHs) are a promising mechanism to coordinate various state and local partners and develop and implement plans to end homelessness. Addressing homelessness necessitates coordination across a wide array of federal, state, and local agencies, community-based organizations, service providers, and the public, including individuals with lived experience. ICHs can effectively centralize resources and decision making. ICHs’ exact purpose, structure, participants, and the mechanism by which they were established varies by state based on their unique context and goals. This blog summarizes the most common approaches across states. Read more here.

Save the Date: Justice Center Summit

Click here to register for the Justice Center Summit.

ALBANY: Grant to fund suicide prevention programs at UAlbany

CHAUTAUQUA: County To Get More Opioid Settlement Funds

CLINTON/ESSEX: Facing a mental health crisis head on

CLINTON/ESSEX: Health Depts. release community health assessments

COLUMBIA: Recovery community center holds open house

ERIE: Local hospitals to create resources for health care workers who may experience anxiety and depression

ERIE: NU receives $200K grant for Erie County probation officer program

ESSEX: Mental Health Association expanding Ti facility

FRANKLIN: Dr. Yanulavich joins Saint Regis Mohawk Health Services as new Mental Health Director

GENESEE/ORLEANS: GCASA Foundation to award four scholarships; application deadline is March 10

MONROE: Pilot program aims to help teens aging out of foster care in Monroe County

MONROE: Longtime first responders discuss mental health support needed for the industry

MONROE: Nazareth receives $2.6M grant to support students pursuing mental health career

NYC/WESTCHESTER: Montefiore Announces $4.5 Million for Behavioral Health Services

NYC: Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams Announce Significant Progress on Subway and Transit Public Safety Initiatives

NYC: Symposium discusses solutions to homelessness and mental illness in New York

NYC: Speaking to Mental Health on the Peninsula

ONEIDA: Oneida County Releases Community Health Assessment & Improvement Plan

ONEIDA: ICAN’s Evelyn’s House Program Receives $90,000 Grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to Address Maternal Health Disparities

ONONDAGA: Fayetteville-Manlius student suicide prompts district to adopt new mental health support

ONONDAGA: Syracuse organization designs custom equipment for children and adults with disabilities

OTSEGO: Otsego County accepts opioid settlement funds

RENSSELAER: UCM Digital Health and MVP Health Care Launch New Treatment in Place Program to Reduce Emergency Room Visits and Hospitalizations

SARATOGA: Saratoga County reloading resources as opioid overdoses, deaths rise

TOMPKINS: Cornell, CCE responding to farming mental health crisis

ULSTER: Housing provides hope for those battling addiction and mental illness

Governor Hochul Announces $5.25 Million to Support Addiction Prevention Services in High-Need Communities

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced $5.25 million in awards to establish six substance use and prevention coalitions across New York State. Administered by the State Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the funding will enable recipients to focus prevention efforts on priority populations; including Black, Indigenous and people of color; veterans; older adults, individuals with disabilities, and youth with a history of incarceration or other contact with the criminal-legal system. Read more here.

Vending Machines with Lifesaving Drug Grow as Opioid Crisis Rages in US

The police chief of the small Kentucky city of Vine Grove knew from heart-rending experience why he needed a vending machine outside his office. Kenneth Mattingly’s daughter was twice brought to the brink of death by heroin and twice pulled back by paramedics carrying an antidote, naloxone. Then Mattingly responded to an opioid overdose call early last year at which a woman saved a friend’s life because she was carrying a naloxone spray, often known by its brand name Narcan. Read more here.

Related: New York’s Public Media Stations To Examine Addiction and Overdose Crisis

New York health officials turn to telemedicine in opioid fight

RESOURCE: Mapping The Mental Health Of Our Communities

Mental Health America's County and State Data Map is a dashboard that geographically visualizes data from over 4 million mental health screens taken at MHAScreening.org in 2020-2022. The interactive maps are able to identify the current need for mental health resources at a pace and scale that was not possible before. Click here to use the tool.

New Report: Quality Measurement in Crisis Services 

As mental health crisis systems witness unprecedented growth, the need for standardized metrics to evaluate these systems becomes more important than ever. But what are the best performance metrics to assess quality, track reporting mandates, identify problems or blind spots, personalize and assess for value or determine the overall “success” of a crisis system? A new report, “Quality Measurement in Crisis Services,” from the National Council’s Medical Director Institute takes on the challenge of providing a brief framework of optimal metrics to lead the mental health field in enhancing the quality of crisis systems nationally.

In First, Pediatricians Get Guidance On Hospitalized Teens With IDD

Nonadherence, switching, stopping antipsychotics linked to more acute care utilization

Investigating Care Models to Support Older Adults with Depression and Health Comorbidities

Deaths of despair also affect Native American Communities, study shows

KFF: A $30 Million Gift to Build an Addiction Treatment Center. Then Staffers Had to Run It.

Impact of the California Harm Reduction Initiative


Reducing Jail Populations: Revisiting Technical Violations of Community Supervision to Decrease Jail

February 2, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

The Continuum of Care: Innovative Solutions for Addressing Complex Behavioral Health Needs

February 2, 2 - 3 pm, Behavioral Health Business

Investigation Basics for OASAS Provider Staff

February 6, 9 am - 12 pm, NYS Justice Center

NYS OMH DFS Spotlight of Innovative Diversion Services

February 8, 10:30 am - 12 pm, OMH Division of Forensic Services

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Plus – Building a Culture of Inclusion

February 8, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Unwinding Home and Community-Based Services Public Health Emergency Flexibilities

February 8, 1:30 - 3 pm, CMS

Protecting Consumer Health Data: FTC and State Actions to Close the Privacy Gap

February 8, 2 - 3 pm, Manatt Health

Local Strategies for Reaching Families and Young Children Experiencing Homelessness

February 8, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

Substance Use Disorders, Suicide, and Recovery: Beyond Shame and Stigma

February 8, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

The Art of Talking to Teens about Substance Use

February 8, 8 - 9 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Cancer and Mental Wellbeing Education Series: Building Partnerships Between Cancer Centers and Mental Health/Substance Use Treatment Facilities

February 9, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Harm Reduction Services in the United State: A State of the Union

February 9, 12 - 1 pm, The Action Lab at Northeastern

Data-Informed Care and Advocacy in Addiction Treatment

February 9, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Navigating PSYCKES Recipient Search for Population Health

February 9, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

The Opioid Crisis: Disrupting the Status Quo with the HEALing Communities Study

February 14, 2 - 3 pm, NIMH

New CMS Guidance on Addressing Social Needs Through Medicaid: Implications for States, Managed Care, and Health Systems

February 15, 2 - 3 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Using the PSYCKES Clinical Summary

February 15, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

Mitigating Safety and Risk for Children Affected by Parental Substance Use Disorders Involved in the Child Welfare System

February 16, 1 - 2 pm, NCSACW

CCBHC Capabilities Help Organizations Achieve Better Outcomes & Financial Sustainability

February 21, 1 - 2 pm, Open Minds

Beyond 12-Steps: The Neuroscience of Recovery Coaching

February 23, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Introductory/Refresher Virtual YSBIRT Training

February 28, 2 - 5 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Introductory/Refresher Virtual SBIRT Training

March 6, 2 - 5 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Safety-led Overdose Prevention in Black, Indigenous and People of Color Communities

March 8, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing



AOT Coordinators Call

February 7: 10 - 11:30 am

LGU Billing Staff Call

February 7: 11 am - 12 pm

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting

February 9: 11 am - 12 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

February 9: 1 - 2:30 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

February 9: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call

February 14: 10 - 11:30 am

CLMHD Membership Call

February 15: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

February 16: 1 - 3 pm

CLMHD Office Closed - Presidents Day

February 20

Children & Families Committee Meeting

February 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm

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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