February 22, 2024

Patients Stuck In Limbo for Weeks, Months, Even Years: 11 NYS Associations Advance Recommendations to Address Care Delays Experienced by Patients with Complex Needs

Eleven New York state associations representing a diverse range of healthcare providers issued a new report, No More Waiting: Recommendations to Begin Addressing Care Delays for New Yorkers with Complex Needs. These policy recommendations are a result of a series of workgroup sessions convened by the Healthcare Association of New York State in 2023. Children and adults with complex care needs continue to experience long delays in access to essential services. As a result, many are forced to seek care in hospitals as a last resort and become caught in limbo in emergency departments and hospital inpatient units for weeks, months and even years after they are medically ready for discharge. Read more here.

Governor Hochul Announces $34 Million “Safe Operations Support” Initiative Expands to Long Island, Westchester, and Upstate

Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced the statewide expansion of a program that has successfully rehoused hundreds of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in New York City, including many who struggle with severe mental illness, after successfully helping 330 long-term homeless New Yorkers get into stable housing. Administered by the Office of Mental Health, the Safe Operations Support program has expanded to serve the Finger Lakes, Capital Region, Southern Tier, Hudson Valley, Erie County, Westchester County and Long Island to provide support and help find permanent housing for individuals experiencing homelessness on the streets. In addition, under the Governor’s leadership, state agencies proposed regulations to ensure follow-up care for individuals leaving emergency and inpatient psychiatric settings and to establish network adequacy standards to ensure shorter wait times for behavioral health services. Read more here.

Chancellor King Announces Application Opening for the SUNY/Office of Mental Health Scholarship Program 

State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. on Wednesday announced the application opening for the SUNY/Office of Mental Health Scholarship Program. Established in August 2022 by Governor Kathy Hochul with a $4 million federal investment, the program provides scholarships, paid internships, fee waivers for graduate school applicants, and more to support students in mental health degree programs. The program attracts, retains, and graduates students trained in the various mental health professions with the potential to positively affect the quality of mental health care for all New York State residents, with a focus on service to those individuals who may have historically lacked quality mental health care. Read more here.

Can We Fix Mental Health Crisis Response in the Hudson Valley?

A cramped hallway. A closed door to a stairwell. People calling to someone inside, trying to coax him out. “I don’t want to hurt anyone—please go away,” Daniel McAlpin, 41, calls through the door. It’s the evening of September 9, 2022, in his family home outside Ellenville. Those outside had drawn guns—law enforcement officers had been called there to bring in McAlpin for a mental health evaluation, according to an October 2023 court filing. Now McAlpin was inside the stairwell wielding a knife. “Danny, we want to build trust with you,” calls an officer, according to videos released by the New York State Attorney General’s office.  “I don’t want to build trust!” McAlpin yells back. Read more here.

Released From The Hospital With Nowhere To Go? NY Has A Budding Alternative.

By the time Ronald Lee was admitted to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric care in April 2022, the Manhattan facility had become a familiar stomping ground. Lee’s mental health had gone downhill after his teenage son was killed in Far Rockaway a few years before, and he said he had several inpatient psychiatric stays at the hospital. Before his hospitalization, Lee, 67, was shuffling between family members’ couches and a veterans shelter in Long Island City. He expected to be discharged back to the shelter, although he didn’t feel mentally ready to return. Instead, after Lee had spent less than two weeks in the hospital, Bellevue staff offered him an alternative: care at a 26-bed facility in Harlem called a medical respite. Read more here.

Related: NYC Health + Hospitals Announces More Than 1,100 Patients Served by Medical Respite, Which Offers Short-Term Housing and Access to Medical Care

Community Collaboration for Suicide and Overdose Prevention: Attitudes, Perceptions, and Practices of Community-Based Professionals and County Leadership in New York State

Researchers at NORC at the University of Chicago recently published "Community Collaboration for Suicide and Overdose Prevention: Attitudes, Perceptions, and Practices of Community-Based Professionals and County Leadership in New York State" in Community Mental Health Journal. This paper describes the results of a survey of New York State local mental hygiene directors and substance use and suicide prevention coalition leads. Read more here.

How To Leverage Data Analytics to Improve Suicide Risk Assessments

Behavioral workforce shortages and access barriers to mental healthcare continue to drive the United States’ mental health crisis, leaving many at risk for adverse outcomes like suicide without the care they need. Health systems play a pivotal role in closing these gaps and improving outcomes, but preventing suicides remains a challenge. Kimberly Roaten, PhD, ABPP, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Associate Chief Quality and Safety Officer for Behavioral Health - Parkland Health, and Jacqueline Naeem, MD, Senior Medical Director at Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI), discuss how health systems can build a risk stratification program to prevent suicide in their populations. Read more here.

Related: Some People Who Attempt Suicide Do Not Meet Criteria for Psychiatric Disorders

More Kids Are Dying of Drug Overdoses. Could Pediatricians Do More to Help?

A 17-year-old boy with shaggy blond hair steps onto the scale at Tri-River Family Health Center in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. After he's weighed, he heads for an exam room decorated with decals of planets and cartoon characters. A nurse checks his blood pressure. A pediatrician asks about school, home life and his friendships. This looks like a routine teen check-up, the kind that happens in thousands of pediatric practices across the U.S. every day – until the doctor pops this question. "Any cravings for opioids at all?" asks Dr. Safdar Medina. The patient shakes his head, no. Read more here.

Related: Stress driving substance use in American teens, study finds

Supporting Rural Pediatrics: Mental Health and Substance Use ECHO

Winter 2024 Edition of OMH News

The latest edition of the New York State Office of Mental Health's newsletter, OMH News, has been published to the OMH website. The lead story for this edition discusses how OMH is building on Governor Kathy Hochul’s $1-billion investment to strengthen the delivery of mental health care. OMH News is published for people served by, working, involved, or interested in New York State's mental health programs.

SUD Providers Using Bundled-Payment Approach to Leverage Peer Support Models

Certified peer support specialists are quickly becoming an essential part of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in the United States. Having gone through the recovery process successfully, peer support workers are driven to help others facing similar hardships in their lives. Addiction rehabilitation centers are now relying more on that connection and experience to create effective programs. At the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Chicago, peer recovery specialists are used to complement continuing care and recovery support services, and to provide training across the country incorporating the approach into recovery-oriented systems of care, according the organization’s chief business growth officer. Read more here.

Related: SUD Treatment Providers Embrace Alternative Payment Models, Ditch Fee-For-Service

Mobile Gambling Soars as Concerns About the Fallout Also Increase

Amid rising concerns about problem gambling behaviors and disorders, legislators are taking action to double down on reducing and treating the issues with legislation that would curb the ability of mobile sportsbooks to advertise. U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, proposed a bill in Congress earlier this month that would ban “predatory” mobile sports betting advertising in all electronic and online forms. Tonko’s “Betting on Our Future Act” would ban advertisements on television, radio, websites and other forums subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission. Read more here.

Related: Tonko Introduces Legislation to Ban Predatory Sports Betting Advertising

As Online Gambling Expands, So Do Concerns About Addictions

Medicare Reforms Support Behavioral Health by Expanding Access to Peer Support Specialists and Community Health Workers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized reforms to Medicare payment for 2024 that will expand access to behavioral health care services. Notably, the reforms increase coverage for services provided by community health workers (CHWs) and peer support specialists. CHWs live in the same communities as the people they serve and use their lived experiences to help identify health concerns and connect people with resources, while peer support specialists help people with behavioral health conditions reach their recovery goals. CMS’s payment changes provide important reforms for Medicare beneficiaries and send signals to Medicaid and commercial insurers, who look to Medicare when making coverage and reimbursement decisions. Read more here.

How a Crisis Receiving Center Stopped Saying No and Got Commercial Insurers To Pay

When the Huntsman crisis receiving center in Salt Lake County, Utah, shuttered temporarily for new construction to expand, Kevin Curtis, crisis service director at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, saw it as an opportunity to shift work culture. The center was experiencing what Curtis calls “a fundamental mismatch.” “We weren’t serving the community the way we should.” For a crisis receiving center to function properly, it must have a no-refusal policy, accepting all drop-offs from law enforcement and EMS. That wasn’t happening, pointed out Curtis. Instead, the center’s staff defaulted to wanting first responders to call first and get the person medically cleared. Read more here.

BROOME: Overdoses on the rise in Broome County

CHAUTAUQUA: Fentanyl Seizures, Reported Overdoses Skyrocket In City

CHAUTAUQUA: JCC Club Offers Students Impacted By Addiction A Safe Space

CORTLAND: SUNY Cortland adds free online mental health service

ERIE: How the COVID-19 pandemic impacted teens and substance abuse

JEFFERSON: Lawmakers to get results of student survey on mental health, social media & more

JEFFERSON: Jefferson County explores funding shelters for homeless people

MONROE: Westside Academy recovery program gets boost to help students affected by substance abuse

NIAGARA: Trauma, illness and grief in the crosshairs of new countywide program

NIAGARA: Respond with care decal program in Niagara County

NYC: Exclusive look at unique approach to help people experiencing homelessness in Coney Island

NYC: A Bronx school district offers lessons in boosting student mental health

NYC: Tenant asthma and mental illness rates could help NYC spot bad buildings, study finds

NYC: NIH grants Feinstein Institutes $3.1M for psychiatric illness research

ONEIDA: Oneida County Selected for Workshop to Address Substance Use

ORANGE: NYS Dormitory Authority readies for Orange County project

OSWEGO: SUNY Chancellor John King Jr. visits Oswego, discusses mental health fund

TIOGA: Tioga County credits Narcan in fight against opioids

TOMPKINS: Tompkins County Whole Health Launches Initiative to Address Homelessness and Substance Use Disorders

Health Related Social Needs — An Emerging Opportunity for Behavioral Health

The National Council has published a new report outlining ways to secure and improve funding to expand services addressing health related social needs (HRSN) — such as food insecurity, housing instability, unemployment and lack of reliable transportation — to improve the health and wellbeing of the people you serve. This report helps mental health and substance use treatment organizations (including Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics [CCBHCs]) operating in states with an approved or pending Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) HRSN Demonstration to understand approved approaches to addressing HRSN. 

Related: Accelerating The Exchange Of Health And Human Services Data To Improve Outcomes And Disrupt Inequities

Medicaid Innovation Collaborative Announces 5 Pilot Programs To Improve Outcomes for Medicaid Patients

More people die after smoking drugs than injecting them, US study finds

‘Fourth Wave’ of Opioid Epidemic Crashes Ashore, Propelled by Fentanyl and Meth

‘Pandora’s Box Is Open’: The Future of the Behavioral Health Industry Includes AI-Powered Chatbots

Baltimore Police Improve Behavioral Health Response But Need to Triple Officers Trained For Crisis Response, Monitor Team Says

How Arizona’s crisis response network became a model for mental health hotlines

New study unpacks the impact of TikTok and short video apps on adolescent well being

Brown launches resource to educate public about overdose prevention centers


Agricultural Community QPR for Farmers and Farm Families

February 22, 12 - 1:30 pm, Agrisafe Network

Data Storytelling 101: Laying the Groundwork for CBO Impact

February 22, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA

Bridging the Legal and Clinical Interface for Justice Involved Individuals with SMI

February 23, 12 - 1 pm, SMI Advisor

Learning Network Kickoff 988 in 2024: State Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities

February 27, 2 - 3:15 pm, Vibrant Emotional Health

Exploring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Treatment Landscape & Unmet Needs

February 28, 12 - 1 pm, PsychU

What Should the Healthcare Sector’s Role Be in Addressing Adverse Social Drivers of Health?

February 28, 12 - 1 pm, SIREN

Sharing the Load: How to Empower and Leverage Diverse Expertise to Expand First Response

February 28, 12 - 1:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Compassion Fatigue and Burnout for Rural Providers

February 28, 1 - 3 pm, NCROTAC

Expanding Harm Reduction through Increased Syringe Access

February 28, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA

More than Awareness: Confronting the Impact of Tech-facilitated Abuse in Teen Relationships

February 28, 3 - 4:15 pm, SAMHSA

Current Substance Use Trends and Evolving Risks (with a focus on Rural Communities)

February 29, 11 am - 12 pm,

Compassion Fatigue and Burnout Part II (for Rural Providers)

February 29, 1 - 3 pm, NCROTAC

Planning for the Future: Ensuring Sustainability for Drug Treatment Courts

February 29, 1:30 - 3 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Collaborative Governance for Delivery of Successful Human Services

February 29, 2 - 3 pm, NACo

Six Lessons Learned for Advancing Racial Equity at the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health

February 29, 2 - 3:30 pm, CSG Justice Center

Innovation in Behavioral Health (IBH) Model Overview Webinar

February 29, 2 - 3:30 pm, CMS

Examining the Use of Braided Funding for Substance Use Disorder Services

February 29, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, SAMHSA

988 and Other Numbers – What the Data Tells Us So Far

March 1, 12 - 1:15 pm, Sozosei Summit Solution Labs

Social Determinants of Health in People Living with Psychiatric Disorders: The Role of Pharmacists

March 1, 12 - 1 pm, SMI Advisor

How the Camden Coalition is Applying Research Lessons to Improve Care Delivery

March 5, 2 - 3 pm, Camden Coalition

Improving Access to Care for Pregnant and Postpartum People With Opioid Use Disorder

March 5, 2 - 3 pm, Manatt

2024 NYCPG Annual Conference - Registration Open!

March 5 - 7, Albany Marriott, NY Council on Problem Gambling

Polysubstance Use During the Opioid Crisis

March 6, 3 - 4 pm, NAADAC

Creative Solutions for Mobile Crisis Teams to Effectively Engage With Rural and Frontier Communities

March 12, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Examining the Burden of Public Stigma Associated With Mental Illness in the Rural U.S.

March 12, 1 - 2 pm, Rural Health Research Gateway

Scaling SUD Treatment through AI-Powered, Asynchronous Video Assessments

March 12, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

FREE Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Specialty Providers in Capital Region

March 13, 9 am - 3 pm, MHANYS

AI in Behavioral Health: The Future is Here

March 13, 2 - 3 pm, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Opportunities to Address SDOH in 1915(c) and 1915(i) Medicaid HCBS Programs

March 13, 2 - 3:30 pm, CMCS

Emotional Attachment Behavioral Therapy: An Innovative Approach to Behavioral Health Treatment

March 13, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Closing the Gap: Addressing Racial Disparity in Licensure Exam Rates

March 14, 1 - 2 pm, Social Current

Mental Health and Suicide on US Farms: Muckville Movie Viewing and Conversation

March 14, 1 - 2 pm, Agrisafe

What you Say Matters: Words and Actions Last a Lifetime – Best Practices in Suicide Death Investigations

March 14, 2 - 3:30 pm, OMH/SPCNY

REGISTRATION OPEN: What It Takes: Supervising Peer Support Specialists

March 15 & 22, 9 am - 4 pm, PeerTAC

Hardwired for Fear and Connection: The Intersection of Brain Science and Equity

March 19, 1 - 4 pm, Social Current

LA CRISP: The Role of Community Health Workers and Peer Support Specialists in Reentry

March 20, 1 - 2 pm, CSG Justice Center

Let’s Talk Resilience as a Three-Pronged Approach!

March 20, 3 - 4:30 pm, NAADAC

Bridging Public Health and Managed Care: A Collaborative Approach to Community Health Assessments

March 21, 1 - 2 pm, Manatt

From Numbers to Visuals: Unleashing the Power of Data to Create Narratives for CBO Impact

March 21, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA

Beyond the Numbers and Visuals: Building Your CBO Data-Driven Digital Marketing Strategy

April 25, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA

From Impact to Investment: Leveraging Your CBO’s Story for Funding, Impact, & Internal Growth

May 23, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA


HRSA Health Workforce

NYS Grants Gateway

NY Health Foundation

OASAS Procurements

OMH Procurements

OPWDD Procurements

Rural Health Information Hub - New York

SAMHSA Grants Dashboard



Executive Committee Meeting

March 6: 8 - 9 am

LGU Clinic Operators Meeting

March 12: 10 - 11 am

Addiction Services & Supports (ASR) Committee Meeting

March 14: 11 am - 12 pm

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting

March 14: 1 - 2:30 pm

Mental Health Committee Meeting

March 14: 3 - 4 pm

IOCC Meeting

March 18: 1 - 3 pm, Empire State Plaza, Albany

Children & Families Committee Meeting

March 19: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Membership Call

March 20: 9 - 10:30 am

Mental Hygiene Planning Committee

March 21: 1 - 3 pm

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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