August 10, 2023

Help Wanted: Counties Look for Ways to Address Staffing Shortages

Counties across the country collectively employ more than 3.5 million people. It’s not enough. Counties are short-staffed when it comes to sheriff’s deputies, paramedics, teachers, IT personnel, 911 operators — you name it. “It’s a struggle to get people to come back to work for our counties,” says Larry Johnson, a commissioner in DeKalb County, Ga. “We have faced workplace shortages, while the private sector has come back strong.”Hiring is tough all over. The job posting site Indeed released a report last week that found the number of job listings, while down from last year, remains 29 percent higher than before the pandemic. Nearly 5 percent of listings still offer signing bonuses. Read more here.

Related: Another Voice: To improve mental health, build the workforce first

Governor Hochul Announces $108 Million Available for Schools to Address Pandemic Learning Loss and Support Mental Health

Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced $108 million is available for school districts to support student well-being through expanding mental health supports. The new State matching fund, the $100 million Recover from COVID School Program, will provide funding to create or expand programs to help students address trauma caused by the pandemic, prioritizing school districts with the highest need. Additionally, a portion of the $100 million Recover from COVID School Program is available to address student learning loss exacerbated by the pandemic. Governor Hochul is also expanding school-based mental health clinics across the state through an $8.3 million investment within her historic $1 billion mental health plan. This announcement of funding advances one of Governor Hochul’s State of the State priorities to expand mental health support for students and school staff. Read more here.

Related: Partnering with Schools to Improve Youth Mental Health: A Resource for Community Mental Health and Substance Use Care Organizations

Summer Camp: Sun, Swimming, Archery. And Therapy.

Heather Klein was in her cabin at Camp Nah-Jee-Wah, nursing her first iced tea of the morning, when a photograph arrived on her phone and she drew a deep, sudden breath. Ms. Klein, the mental-health coordinator for a network of sleep-away camps, has a morning routine: responding to queries from anxious parents, who have looked at the photographs posted online the night before. Why does my child look sad? they want to know. Where are their friends? The message was from a counselor — and it was serious. A teenage camper had switched from high-tops to Crocs to go to the beach, which allowed her counselor to see a row of cuts the girl had made with a razor. Read more here.

N.Y. Bill Aims to Bolster Services for People with Serious Mental Illness

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Dan Goldman and Rep. Jerry Nadler on Tuesday touted legislation aimed at strengthening access to medical care for people living with serious mental illnesses. The “Strengthening Medicaid for Serious Mental Illness Act,” if passed, would generate new services under Medicaid designed specifically for people living with mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, the lawmakers said during a news conference at Manhattan’s Fountain House. The legislation would also set a national standard for care for people with serious mental illness and incentivize states to provide services to treat them. Read more here.

Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) Behavioral Health Meeting Highlights OMH Data Resources

GNYHA recently hosted the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) to share publicly available data resources that may help providers improve patient care. The behavioral health planning meeting reviewed patient-level data resources “that are readily available, off-the-shelf, that people might be able to use as they continue to identify behavioral health opportunities within their own systems and regions,” said Alison Burke, GNYHA Vice President, Legal, Regulatory, and Professional Affairs. Read more here.

Nonprofit Study: NY’s Homeless Veterans Need Continued Support

Thirteen percent of homeless New Yorkers are veterans, while 1.5 million veterans are considered at-risk of homelessness, according to a new report. While the overall total of number of homeless veterans has dropped by almost 50% since 2009, due the efforts of housing support programs for veterans, the Services for the Underserved report still urged the continued support for those unhoused veterans who may be unaware of the support that’s available to them. The report, entitled “Supporting Veterans and Ending Veteran Homelessness,” names mental health challenges, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, suicide and substance abuse order as a leading cause. Read more here.

Related: Factors Associated with Homelessness Among US Veterans

Industry Voices—Let's Treat Loneliness Like Other Public Health Crises

A silent and grossly underserved epidemic of loneliness is affecting 60% of all Americans including 75% of young adults and 40% of older adults—influencing and complicating mental health disorders, physical health disorders, adherence to treatment and increasing hospitalizations. The U.S. Surgeon General, in a recently published and widely discussed “Advisory on our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation”, has stated that “we must prioritize building social connection the same way we have prioritized other critical public health issues such as tobacco, obesity, and substance use disorders.” Numerous experts have called attention to our loneliness epidemic, describing its negative health impact as similar to “smoking 15 cigarettes a day”. It is time for a systematic approach to address the loneliness epidemic that is crippling US healthcare as well as the quality and health of human relationships in America. Read more here.

Community Health Workers, Experts in the In-Between, Fight for Their Place in the System

NEW YORK — A nurse supervisor at Montefiore Comprehensive Health Care Center in the Bronx was delivering her start-of-shift updates and mantras — “Covid is not finished with us … clean, clean, clean!”— to the clinicians and administrative staff bunched up nearby. Hawa Abraham, not one or the other, stood among them. It was going to be another busy day at the clinic, with 150 patients expected, and Abraham, a community health worker, would be seeing several herself. Abraham’s presence in the huddle represents the leading edge of a movement to bolster the role of community health workers — frontline public health workers who use their life experience and deep knowledge of communities to bridge gaps between patients and medical and social services. Abraham tends to those gaps from her office, the room closest to the sliding-door entrance off 161st Street between Morris and Park avenues, in a district with a poverty rate twice that of the citywide average. Read more here.

New Funding Opportunity—Special Projects Fund: 2024 Request for Proposals 

The New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) 2024 Special Projects Fund Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open. Special Projects Fund awards are one-time, nonrenewable funding opportunities where the Foundation supports projects that address important and emerging health care and public health issues that fall outside our three priority areas (Primary Care; Healthy Food, Healthy Lives; and Veterans’ Health). We seek to partner with a wide range of organizations implementing innovative projects that can improve health at the local, regional, or statewide levels.  Applicants must first complete a letter of inquiry form (LOI) to determine whether a proposed project fits the funding criteria. LOIs are due on September 12, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. Selected organizations will then be invited to submit full proposals due on November 16, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. Read more here.

ALBANY: Beyond Drug Court, Practicing Restorative Justice

ALBANY: Albany group promoting LGBTQ rights awarded $25,000 for mental health services

CAYUGA: Auburn agency awarded $2.9M federal grant to address childhood trauma in Cayuga County

CHAUTAUQUA: As opioid deaths rise, Chautauqua County focused on medication treatment

CLINTON: Clinton Co. looks to fund local addiction prevention, recovery programs

CLINTON: Schumer touts fentanyl legislation in Plattsburgh visit

CORTLAND: Cortland County’s new mental health facility to offer more space

ERIE: $50K to help fund mental health program for law enforcement officers

ERIE: Opioid overdoses rising in Erie County, leaders warn of cocaine containing fentanyl found in county

ERIE: Buffalo Next: UB's health equity efforts get $500,000 boost

JEFFERSON: Upcoming suicide prevention panel, benefit to open life-saving conversations in Watertown

MADISON: Madison County Supervisors approve school mental health clinic

MONROE/ONONDAGA/WESTCHESTER: NY to study if $500 extra a month can keep at-risk families out of child-welfare system

NYC: NYS OASAS Announces Opening of New Comprehensive Integrated Outpatient Treatment Program in Brooklyn

NYC: Williamsbridge Gardens Affordable Housing Complex Now Complete In The Bronx

NYC: Amethyst House, shuttered after controversy, reopens women’s residential treatment facility

ORANGE: Orange County Health Commissioner: Fentanyl crisis getting worse

STEUBEN: Steuben County Releases July Overdose Data

SUFFOLK: For LI nonprofit, $600K for programs combatting drug addiction

TOMPKINS: Ithaca official praises Tompkins County’s homeless coordinator

DEA ‘Open To Considering’ Special Registration Process for Telehealth Controlled Substance Prescribing

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has openly signaled a reversal in its stance towards a long-mandated special registration process that would allow telehealth prescribing of certain controlled substances. In a newly published meeting notice, the DEA says the voluminous and negative feedback on its proposed rule for post-public health emergency telehealth regulations inspired its new consideration of a special registration process. The meeting notice calls for two public comment listening sessions on Sept. 12 and 13. These listening sessions are intended to inform the DEA on preventing and detecting the diversion of controlled substances prescribed via telehealth. Read more here.

Related: Only 1 in 5 people with opioid addiction get the medications to treat it, study finds

Buprenorphine Cost a Potential Barrier for Opioid-Addicted Youth, Adults

Governor Hochul Announces 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Education and Awareness Toolkit Available

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the successful rollout of New York State’s 988 Community Education and Awareness Toolkit, an interactive resource tool designed to support individuals facing suicide-risk. 988 is the three-digit number available in many areas nationally that will connect the caller to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. New York’s 988 toolkit, developed by the New York State Office of Mental Health includes marketing and educational resources to help educate the public. Read more here.

Related: After 1 Year, Opportunities and Challenges Remain for 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Half of people worldwide at risk of developing mental health condition by age 75, per new study

FDA approves first pill for postpartum depression

New KFF Analysis Shows Number of Suicide Deaths at Record Levels, Driven by an Increase in Firearm-Related Suicides

Fidelis Care Provides Support for Members to Help Address Social Determinants of Health Needs 

NASHP Brief: How Kansas and Colorado Use Opioid Settlement Funds to Promote Evidence-Based Practices in Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

Mantra Health Expands Suite of Mental Health Services in Partnership with Charlie Health

Fatal Drug Overdose Risks of Health Care Workers in the United States: A Population-Based Cohort Study


HRSA Health Workforce

NYS Grants Gateway

NY Health Foundation

OASAS Procurements

OMH Procurements

OPWDD Procurements

Rural Health Information Hub - New York

SAMHSA Grants Dashboard


Cannabis Use Disorder Diagnostic Criteria and Assessment

Self-Paced Training, Partnership to End Addiction

Untapped Potential of Extended-release Buprenorphine in Opioid Use Disorder

August 10, 10:30 - 11:30 am, SAMSHA CEATTC

The Peer Support Experience: In Our Own Words

August 10, 2 - 3 pm, Homeless Housing Resource Center

Implementing Thoughtful and Practical DEIB Initiatives

August 10, 3 - 4:30 pm, OMH

Partnering with Law Enforcement

August 16, 2 - 3 pm, HANYS

Promising Practices for Utilizing Motivational Interviewing (MI) to Improve Care Coordination and Address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

August 17, 2 - 3 pm, Resources for Integrated Care

Medicaid 1115 Justice Waivers and Special Populations: Meeting the Needs of Justice-Involved Youth

August 17, 2 - 3 pm, HMA

The Future of 988: Increasing Accessibility

August 21, 1 - 2 pm, Vibrant Emotional Health

Ask the Expert: Crisis Response in Rural Areas

August 21, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Access & Affordability: Exploring SMI Coverage & Trends In The U.S. Behavioral Health System

August 22, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

Supporting Veterans in the Criminal Justice System (Part 2): Responding to Co-occurring PTSD and SUD

August 22, 2:30 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Professional Perspectives of Cultural Awareness and Humility Revisited

August 23, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

How To Improve Poor Data Quality Across the Healthcare Ecosystem and Make Workflows More Manageable

August 24, 1 - 2 pm, Intelligent Medical Objects

Introducing SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) for Children and Youth

August 24, 3 - 4 pm, NTTAC

Employing Peer Workers: An Organization’s Perspective

August 29, 2 - 3 pm, Homeless Housing Resource Center

Medication-Assisted Treatment Services and Community Reentry

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

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

August 31, 3 - 5 pm, NAADAC

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

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

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

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

September 19, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

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

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



Addiction Services & Supports (ASR) Committee Meeting

August 10: 11 am - 12 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

August 10: 3 - 4 pm

Children & Families Committee Meeting

August 15: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Membership Call

August 16: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee Meeting

August 17: 1 - 3 pm

Deputy DCS Call

August 22: 10 - 11 am

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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