February 9, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Details of $1 Billion Plan to Overhaul New York State's Continuum of Mental Health Care

Governor Kathy Hochul last Thursday announced details of her comprehensive $1 billion multi-year plan to overhaul the continuum of mental health care and drastically reduce the number of individuals with unmet mental health needs throughout the state. First outlined during the 2023 State of the State last month, the plan aims to dramatically expand access to mental health care, reduce wait times and ensure appropriate levels of care to correct a mental health care system that has suffered from chronic underinvestment. The plan includes $890 million in capital and $120 million in operating funding to establish and operate 3,500 new residential units for New Yorkers with mental illness. Read more here.

Related: Gov. Hochul’s mental health spending plan could be undermined by understaffing

How States Compare By The Shortage of Mental Health Professionals And How Much They Fall Short

Even though the demand for virtual mental health services exploded in 2020, 37 states have reported shortages in quality mental health care availability. The Department of Health and Human Services, or DHHS, projects a deficit equal to nearly 27,000 full-time jobs across nine professions, including psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, therapists, and social workers, by 2025. The DHHS also employed Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration data from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to project an alternative scenario—one far more alarming. With SAMSHA data incorporated, the country will be short 250,510 people in nine critical mental health professions by 2025.Read more here.

OASAS Announces the Availability of Lifesaving Resources to Address the State’s Opioid Crisis

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) on Tuesday announced new distribution plans for overdose reversal medication naloxone (known as Narcan) and fentanyl test strips. OASAS has just introduced a new easy-to-use ordering mechanism for all OASAS and Office of Mental Health (OMH) service providers. 

OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said, "Expanding access to harm reduction services is a top priority for OASAS. By making these resources available, we are helping to ensure that we are reducing potential harms of substance use, and most importantly saving more lives.” Read more here.

Related: Fentanyl in schools: What happens when there is an overdose?

New from NASMHPD: A Behavioral Health Parity Playbook


The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act sets a national floor for parity compliance. The Law provides detailed guidance and important protections that some state statutes have adopted and built upon to support and facilitate implementation of the law. Parity is widely defined as the process of creating equality or equivalency. A long-held goal of the behavioral health field has been to achieve equal health insurance coverage and managed care treatment as that which applies to medical and surgical health conditions. In service of this goal, NASMHPD has released a draft Behavioral Health Parity Playbook. This Playbook was developed to provide authoritative educational materials about parity and parity enforcement. It condenses and summarizes thousands of pages of material that have been published by federal and state agencies and provides examples of promising practices from states.

Is Carve-In Financing Of Medicaid Behavioral Health Services Better Than Carve-Out?

Until recently, many state Medicaid programs financed and managed behavioral health (BH) services for enrollees with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and others with high BH needs separately from other services in so-called carve-out arrangements. Carve-outs were seen as advantageous because they reduced the opportunities for actions by managed care organizations (MCOs) or enrollees that could skew the distribution of the SMI population across MCOs (that is, adverse selection) and ensured expert management and delivery of SMI services. In 2004, more than 20 states had carve-out arrangements, usually through contracts with organizations with specialized BH expertise. But the tide turned, as states began to carve BH benefits back into the overall MCO package. Read more here.

The New York State Office of Mental Health is excited to share the newest educational resource about 988 in New York. The Just the Facts infographic includes several key facts about 988, such as details on who answers 988 calls and how 988 differs from 911. You may view, download, and print the Just the Facts infographic at New York’s 988 web page.

Winter 2023 Edition of OMH News

Click here to read the latest issue.

This Is What It Looks Like to Try to Count America’s Homeless Population

They go into the streets in search of data. Peeking behind dumpsters, shining flashlights under bridges, rustling a frosted tent to see if anyone was inside. This is what it takes to count the people in America who don’t have a place to live. To get a number, however flawed, that describes the scope of a deeply entrenched problem and the country’s progress toward fixing it. Officially called the Point-in-Time Count, the annual tally of those who live outside or in homeless shelters takes place in every corner of the country through the last 10 days of January, and over the past dozen years has found 550,000 to 650,000 people experiencing homelessness. The endeavor is far from perfect, advocates note, since it captures no more than a few days and is almost certainly a significant undercount. But it’s a snapshot from which resources flow, and creates a shared understanding of a common problem.

Read more here.

Related: Deaths among NYC’s homeless population reach record high in 2022

HUD Awards $315 Million in Historic Grants to Address Unsheltered and Rural Homelessness

Familiar Faces network explores behavioral health systems of care at Texas meeting

One State Looks To Get Kids in Crisis Out Of the ER — and Back Home

It was around 2 a.m. when Carmen realized her 12-year-old daughter was in danger and needed help.

Haley wasn't in her room — or anywhere in the house. Carmen tracked Haley's phone to a main street in their central Massachusetts community.

Carmen picked up Haley, unharmed. But in those early morning hours, she learned about more potentially dangerous behavior — provocative photos her daughter had sent and plans to meet up with an older boy. She also remembered the time a few years back when Haley was bullied and said she wanted to die.

She drove her daughter to a local hospital – the only place they knew to look for help in an emergency – where Haley ended up on a gurney, in a hallway, with other young people who'd also come with an urgent mental health problem. Read more here.

What Doctors Should Know About Xylazine in Fentanyl

It's been about 3 years since Joseph D'Orazio, MD, and his colleagues at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia first noticed something different among injection drug users who came to the hospital. Some patients who overdosed responded differently to the rescue agent naloxone (Narcan), and then there were the wounds -- severe wounds that required extensive treatment, and sometimes, amputation. That wasn't something they'd seen before in the ongoing opioid crisis. They learned that a veterinary sedative called xylazine was increasingly being added to fentanyl, the predominant opioid in the area, to boost its effects and extend its high. Read more here.

More Than 1 in 9 People With Co-Occurring Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders Are Arrested Annually

Policymakers are increasingly focused on justice system interactions with and outcomes for people with either mental illness or substance use disorders. What has received less attention, however, is the extent to which people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (hereafter called cooccurring disorders) become involved with the justice system. To better understand this issue at the point of arrest, which is the “front door” of the criminal legal system, The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed data from 2017 to 2019 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). NSDUH is an annual, nationally representative, self-reported survey and the only national data source for trends in the incidence and treatment of behavioral health (which includes mental illness and substance use disorders). The survey also asks respondents whether they were arrested in the past year and, if so, how often. Read more here.

Related: Why Providers Are Teaming Up with Corrections Departments to Better Treat SUD

CHAUTAUQUA: MHA Homeless Shelter Successfully Opened

ERIE: Highmark Awards BestSelf, Say Yes Buffalo major equity-focused grants

LIVINGSTON: Livingston County Names Kristen Fisher Director of Community Mental Health Services

NIAGARA: Falls school district receives $3.5M to boost mental health programs

NYC: ‘Underutilized’ Creedmoor Psych Center Looks Toward a Very Different Future

NYC: New York City directive to potentially involuntarily commit someone suffering a mental health crisis can proceed, court rules

NYC: Eric Adams’ NYC mental health plan put just 42 people in psych exams in first month

NYC: H+H approves $8.5M contract for respite services for New Yorkers with disabilities

NYC: Services for the UnderServed (S:US) Partners with Ride Health to Improve Transportation for Clients with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)

ONEIDA: Upstate Family Health receives $30,000 in funding from Excellus BCBS

ONONDAGA: Obesity, substance abuse and maternal health big concerns in Onondaga County

SARATOGA: Saratoga County unveils digital dashboard aiding in opioid education

SCHENECTADY: Schenectady approves youth delinquency prevention program

SCHENECTADY: Glenville Police seek assistance with mental health crisis

STEUBEN: Steuben County Opioid Overdoses On the Rise

SUFFOLK: Outreach Receives $1.25 Million In Opioid Settlement Funds From Suffolk County for Workforce Development Project

TOMPKINS: Community Health Assessment & Community Health Improvement Plan, 2022–2024

TOMPKINS: New Mental Health Support Guide in Tompkins County

ULSTER: City of Kingston launches mobile mental health pilot program

WESTERN NY: NYSP warning about increase in overdoses involving heroin in WNY

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $8.6 Million for Innovative Programs to Treat Opioid Addiction

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the availability of more than $8.6 million to develop comprehensive integrated outpatient treatment programs to address opioid use disorder across New York State. Administered by the State Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the funding will support up to 18 providers in their efforts to establish these innovative programs and is the latest award through the New York State Opioid Settlement Fund. Read more here.

Telehealth Website Update on Medicaid.gov

Last week, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) launched a new virtual home for telehealth content on Medicaid.gov. The redesigned pages make it easier for users to find information about how telehealth can be utilized under Medicaid. Visitors will find resources for states and territories as they consider telehealth for the delivery of Medicaid-covered services. 

Gambling Addiction Grows Amid Popularity of Online Betting

More and more young adults have been gripped by compulsive gambling habits but the state has failed to provide the funding needed for a full-throttled public awareness campaign, an expert on addiction told lawmakers last week. James Maney, director of the state Council on Problem Gambling, said the recent introduction of mobile sports gambling and the expansion of other gaming outlets has contributed to an increase in the number of 18 to 24-year-olds who have evolved into “pathological gamblers.” Maney noted the sums spent by the state to promote gambling dwarf what it spends on advertising for counseling for gambling addiction. Read more here.

Innovative Intervention Addresses Youth Suicide Risk in the Juvenile Justice System

Youth involved with the juvenile justice system die by suicide at a rate two to three times higher than youth in the general population. The risk for suicide is greatest overall for young people on probation, which is the segment of the justice system that allows youth to remain in their community (versus being in residential facilities, such as correctional institutions) while under justice supervision. Although screening for suicide risk and provision of behavioral health services is standard for youth in locked facilities, there is a lack of behavioral health screening and related services for youth on probation. Read more here.

North Carolina DHHS Announces New Online Bed Registry to Decrease Wait Times for Behavioral Health Care

California health program successfully cut hospital visits

Financing Approaches to Address Social Determinants of Health via Medicaid Managed Care: A 12-State Review

Google Ventures Invests $28M in Serious Mental Illness Company firsthand

Potential Therapeutic Target for Schizophrenia Identified

Adult Primary Care Physician Visits Increasingly Address Mental Health Concerns

APA releases new guidelines for assessment, treatment of eating disorders

A New Scientific Method for Bail Reform


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

Roundtable: The Role of the Media in Reducing Stigma

February 9, 2 - 3 pm, BHN & OMH

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

Responding to the FY2023 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) Solicitation

February 14, 3 - 4:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

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

Responding to the FY2023 Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Responses Solicitation

February 15, 3 - 4:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

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

February 16, 1 - 2 pm, NCSACW

Office of Minority Health Resource Center: Knowledge Center Resources and Services Webinar

February 16, 1 - 2 pm, OASH

Understanding Suicide and Mental Health Disparities Among Black and African American Communities in Integrated Care

February 16, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Impact of Gambling on Youth Mental Health

February 16, 7:30 - 8:30 pm, MHANYS

CCBHC Capabilities Help Organizations Achieve Better Outcomes & Financial Sustainability

February 21, 1 - 2 pm, Open Minds

Collaborating with Tribal Communities: Cultural Humility

February 21, 1 - 2 pm, Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports

February 23, 10 - 11 am, OMH

Financing the Future of Integrated Care - Q &A

February 23, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Collaborative Care Management Foundations: A 101 primer on the practices and possibilities

February 23, 1 - 2:30 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Beyond 12-Steps: The Neuroscience of Recovery Coaching

February 23, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Harm Reduction Office Hours Series for OASAS Providers: Cannabis and Harm Reduction

February 23, 2 - 3:30 pm, OASAS

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Providing Tailored Support for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) in the Criminal Justice System

February 25, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Peer Support in Integrated Care Settings

February 28, 12 - 1 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Introductory/Refresher Virtual YSBIRT Training

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

MyCHOIS Consumer Access for “My Treatment Data”

March 1, 2 - 3 pm, OMH

Introductory/Refresher Virtual SBIRT Training

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

Consent, Emergency, Quality Flag: PSYCKES Levels of Access

March 7, 1 - 2 pm, OMH

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

PSYCKES for BHCCs and Other Networks

March 16, 2 - 3 pm, OMH



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

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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