March 2, 2023

NYC Has Found a Way to Balance Mental Illness and Criminal Justice, But It’s A Path Closed To Most

In the years before the NYPD arrested Reza Mashayekhi for hurling rocks through embassy windows in Midtown in 2020, he’d been tortured in Iran under suspicion of spying for the CIA, walked across America, and lost his father at a time when he needed him more than ever. He had no money, work, or community when he arrived in New York after a cross-country voyage and more than a year without access to health care critical to his mental stability.

“I threw rocks through the consulate with no reason,” Mashayekhi, 37, told the Daily News. “The paranoia was bothering me.”

Then, he got lucky. Mashayekhi’s lawyers succeeded where many have not, convincing prosecutors to refer his case to a special mental health court in NYC that connects participants with community-based clinical care and supervision, housing, employment, and educational opportunities. Read more here.

CLMHD is Hiring: Director of Public Policy & Special Projects

The Conference is seeking a Director of Public Policy and Special Projects. The successful candidate will deliver project management, strategic planning, and implementation support for key organizational initiatives as assigned by the CLMHD Executive Director. This position is located in Albany, NY. 

The responsibilities of this position are diverse and qualified candidates must have knowledge and experience with NYS behavioral health policy as it relates to the three mental hygiene disabilities and local service delivery, specifically relating to mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual/ developmental disabilities. Strong consideration will be given to candidates with expertise in these systems of care for children and youth. Read more here.

Governor Hochul Announces $5 Million Partnership to Expand Direct Support Professional Credentialing

Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced that the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities has entered into a $5 million agreement with the State University of New York to expand a program that will enable direct support professionals to secure national certification and college credit toward a certificate, associate or bachelor's degree. Known commonly as a microcredential, this program is designed to provide in-demand and workforce-ready skills and experience to support those already working in the profession and others new to the developmental disabilities field. Read more here.

Advocates Call on Hochul for More Funding to Address Child Mental Health

Mental health advocates across New York are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to boost funding for child mental health services within the governor’s executive budget. A virtual rally hosted by the Campaign for Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids last week in support of the cause pushed for committing $500 million of $1 billion in behavioral health funding proposed in the budget to behavioral health services for children and families. The campaign also called for an increase in behavioral support providers, an end to discriminatory practices committed by commercial plans and greater support for mental health in schools. Read more here.

Related: DiNapoli: Thousands of Young Children With Disabilities Not Receiving Early Intervention Services

New Collaboration Brings Opioid Use Disorder Treatment to Formerly Incarcerated Patients

Nearly one in five people who are incarcerated battle opioid use disorder (OUD), and opioid-related overdose is the leading cause of death for those released from the criminal justice system. A new collaboration aims to change these stats. The collaboration, which was announced last week, is between Bicycle Health, Wellpath and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. San Francisco-based Bicycle Health is a virtual provider of opioid use disorder treatment, while Nashville, Tennessee-based Wellpath is a medical and mental health provider that serves vulnerable patients, including those who are in prisons and jails. Read more here.

Amid Fentanyl Crisis, First-of-its-Kind Study to Evaluate Expanded Methadone Access

Ever since fentanyl entered the U.S. drug supply, many Americans seeking treatment for opioid addiction have found that only a single medication is effective at easing cravings and withdrawal: methadone. But even though the drug is widely considered to be safe and effective, there’s not much data about how methadone stacks up against its main alternative, buprenorphine. And since methadone treatment is only available at specialized clinics known as opioid treatment programs, or OTPs, it’s even more of a mystery how patients might fare when it’s prescribed in a doctor’s office. Now, amid calls to dramatically expand methadone access, a team of addiction researchers is looking for answers. A new clinical trial, set to launch this year, will attempt to directly compare patients’ ability to remain in treatment when prescribed buprenorphine or methadone in an office setting — the first study of its kind in the fentanyl era. Read more here.

Telehealth Companies Face Existential Crisis as DEA Seeks to Pull Plug on Virtual Controlled Substance Prescribing

After years of waiting, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Friday rolled out a new proposal to better formalize controlled substance prescriptions via telehealth. However, the proposal is not the long-awaited registration process Congress mandated for addiction treatment. If finalized, DEA’s proposed plan also moves some aspects of telehealth prescribing back to a pre-public health emergency (PHE) state of regulation. Read more here.

Related: DEA Proposal Jeopardizes Digital Providers, Limits Access to Care, Behavioral Health Insiders Warn

Why Aren’t Doctors Screening Older Americans for Anxiety?

Susan Tilton’s husband, Mike, was actually in good health. But after a friend’s husband developed terminal cancer, she began to worry that Mike would soon die, too.

At night, “I’d lie down and start thinking about it,” recalled Ms. Tilton, 72, who lives in Clayton, Mo. “What would I do? What would I do?” The thought of life without her husband — they’d married at 17 and 18 — left her sleepless and dragging through the next day.

“It was very hard to shut it off,” she said of her worrying. “How could I get along by myself? What would I do with the house?”

Years earlier, Ms. Tilton had been seeing a therapist and taking medication for depression, but she ended therapy when her doctor retired. In late 2021, she consulted Dr. Eric Lenze, who heads the psychiatry department at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, for help with a different health problem, not fully recognizing that her anxiety was itself a diagnosable disorder. Read more here.

Overview of the Impacts of Long COVID on Behavioral Health

This literature review provides a summary of the behavioral health implications regarding Long COVID. It describes an overview of behavioral health disorders associated with Long COVID, neuropsychiatric causes of the behavioral health disorders, and future research needs.

BROOME: Southern Tier Independence Center now offers mental health services

BROOME: Broome County Health Department announces request for proposal for opioid settlement funding

BROOME: BCHD looks to increase Narcan accessibility

CAYUGA: Healing Cayuga: County Secures $1M Grant for Substance Use Treatment

CAYUGA: Governor Hochul Announces Completion of $15 Million Affordable and Supportive Housing Development in Cayuga County

ERIE: How a Buffalo High School Achieved 100% Graduation Rate by Focusing on Mental Health, Academics

ERIE: ‘Living room model’ sees success with crisis mental health care

GENESEE: Schumer announces grant for Batavia City Schools to increase mental health support

MONROE: Rochester organization working to prevent adverse childhood experiences

NASSAU: Northwell Health's ED discharge program 'game changer' for vulnerable patients

NORTH COUNTRY: A North Country Therapist Shortage Means Waitlists for Kids in Need of Early Intervention

NYC: NY’s budget has $100M for academic and mental health programs. Schools still don’t have the money.

NYC: Surge in Meth Busts Points to Dire Trend, NYC Drug Prosecutor Says

NYC: Mayor Eric Adams to announce expansion of mental health services in New York City

ONEIDA: Oneida County Announces Veteran Suicide Prevention Grant Awardees

ONONDAGA: Elmcrest Children's Center announces mental health crisis program with 2 residence halls

ONONDAGA: SU’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families receives $1 million grant from nonprofit

ST. LAWRENCE: St. Lawrence County contracts for substance abuse medication at jail

SUFFOLK: Mental Health Services for Children, Young Adults to be Expanded on Long Island with State Grant Of Nearly $5M

To Help Address NYC’s Youth Mental Health Crisis, School Psychologists Want to Practice Outside School

With a pressing need for more youth mental health services, New York’s state legislature is eyeing one way to plug the gap: allowing school psychologists to provide services in private practice without having to go through a lengthy licensing process. Under current rules, school psychologists must obtain a doctorate in order to practice outside of school. But some school psychologists and legislators say that process is overly cumbersome and limits school psychologists’ ability to chip in to address a crisis in youth mental health.

“We need all hands on deck,” said Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, the bill’s lead sponsor. “We’re wasting talent during such a need for mental health services.” Read more here.

Outreach to 988 Number for Suicide Prevention Increased After July Implementation

A KFF analysis finds that outreach to the new 988 number for the national suicide prevention and crisis hotline increased after its implementation in mid-July, then steadied until December 2022, when it rose again. Text volume increased more than 700 percent compared to the year prior but remains a smaller share of overall outreach. Read more here.

Adult Smokers With Mental Illness Consume the Most Caffeine in the U.S

Upstate Poison Center sees rise in accidental cannabis poisonings

Bicycle Health Teams Up with Wellpath, Federal Bureau of Prisons on Virtual MAT Program

Chartis launches new Center for Burnout Solutions

The promise of telehealth in autism diagnoses

The SoulCycle founders have a new ‘workout’ for you—Peoplehood helps you find ‘joy and catharsis in connection’

Bullying doesn’t look like it used to. Experts share how to fix it


Introductory/Refresher Virtual SBIRT Training

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

Sustaining Statewide Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Programs

March 6, 3 - 4 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies

Consent, Emergency, Quality Flag: PSYCKES Levels of Access

March 7, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

Exploring the Tobacco Endgame - Implications for Behavioral Health

March 7, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Family Ties: Substance Use Disorder from the Family's Perspective

March 8, 1 - 2 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

A 6-Part Series on LGBTQ+ Care in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs

March 8 - April 11, 2 - 3 pm, OASAS

Peers: Hiring and Onboarding

March 9, 12 - 1:15 pm, MCTAC

Beyond X-ing the X-Waiver

March 9, 3 - 4:30 pm, FORE

DLTSS Training: Unwinding Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Public Health Emergency

March 15, 2 - 3:30 pm, CMS

Adding Up the Cost of Health Inequity

March 15, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

PSYCKES for BHCCs and Other Networks

March 16, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Justice Center Code of Conduct Train-the-Trainer Session

March 22, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, NYS Justice Center

Peer Support Service Models Success in Integrated Care Settings

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



Mentoring: "What Every DCS Should Know About Mental Hygiene Law"

March 8: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee Meeting

March 9: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

March 9: 1 - 3 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

March 9: 3 - 4 pm

LGU Clinic Operators Call

March 14: 10 - 11:30 am

IOCC Meeting - IN-PERSON (Albany)

March 15: 1 - 3:30 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting

March 21: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Deputy DCS Call

March 28: 10 - 11 am

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

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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