If you are unable to read this edition, please view it on our web site

The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc. Coalition Briefs
An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Mental Health in New York
October 31, 2007

New York City Council Designates Funding for Fiscal 2008 Mental Hygiene Initiatives

Over twenty Coalition member agencies have been designated by the New York City Council to help carry out three important mental hygiene initiatives worth nearly $5.9 million for Fiscal 2008 -- the $2.7 million Geriatric Mental Health Initiative; the $1.6 million Children Under Five Mental Health Initiative; and the $1.6 million Autism Awareness Initiative.  The Council also appropriated $670,000 for an initiative aimed at curbing the use of crystal methamphetamine.

Although the City Council passed a budget for Fiscal 2008 back in June, until now they hadn’t designated providers for these initiatives.  Unfortunately, late designations will force providers to cram the year’s funding into a few short months.  The Coalition will meet with our partners at the City Council to explore ways to expedite the designation process for the year ahead.

Meanwhile, we are extremely grateful to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Finance Committee Chair David Weprin, Mental Health Committee Chair Oliver Koppell, and to all their colleagues on the Council for recognizing the important work of the community-based mental hygiene sector.


Working On Recovery

The Working on Recovery Initiative is the Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery's new approach to training and technical assistance. This initiative is designed to address the workplace learning and organizational development needs of New York City’s mental health provider community.  Our support will be delivered on-site at your agency.  

Fundamental to this initiative is a value-based approach to both management and clinical practice.  Its approach emphasizes the concepts of hope, personal power, choice and self-responsibility, and meaningful roles for both staff and service recipients. It is the foundation upon which recovery is built, and the basis upon which evidence-based and promising practices emerge.

The benefits of our value-based approach include:

  • Developing an understanding of organizational needs and capacity to support rehabilitation and recovery-oriented practice;
  • Preparing leaders to successfully integrate recovery values into programs;
  • Generating momentum for transformation: successfully planning, implementing, evaluating and sustaining change;
  • Learning strategies for building empathic, hopeful and collaborative relationships at all levels of service implementation.

Training: Agencies will select from among 10 half-day modules in recovery, person-centered practice and psychiatric rehabilitation – all designed to promote recovery-based partnerships. This training requires an investment of time and staff resources.


Training and Technical Assistance: Combined training with technical assistance involves an in-depth partnership with agencies interested in more fully incorporating rehabilitation and recovery practices.  Technical assistance supports leadership in aligning program and administrative dimensions with practice.  Agency leaders – whether they are management, line-staff or consumers – will benefit from support in leadership development, team building and the implementation of rehabilitation and recovery-facilitating services, offered at your agency. This more intensive service will be limited to select agencies demonstrating need, capacity and commitment; it requires a significant investment of time and staff resources.

For more information, including details on training and technical assistance requirements, contact Alysia at either (212)742-1600 x201 or apascaris@coalitionny.org.


Coalition’s Comments to CMS on Coverage for Rehabilitative Services

The Coalition submitted comments to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) regarding proposed changes in the way rehabilitative services under Medicaid are covered (File Code CMS-2261-P). The comments expressed our concern that the proposed rule will pose additional barriers and ultimately limit treatment options for thousands of mental health consumers throughout New York. The rule, if enacted, would shift millions of dollars in costs to the States and would likely result in a dramatic reduction in services for vulnerable mental health consumers of all ages. We strongly urged CMS to withdraw the proposed rule.

The Coalition also reached out to the New York State Congressional delegation and asked them to echo our concerns, urging CMS to withdraw the proposed rule.

Read the entire Coalition letter of recommendations and comments submitted to CMS.


House Fails to Override President’s SCHIP Veto

The United States House of Representatives fell 9 votes short of overriding the President’s veto of the proposed expansion of the State’s Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  All indications are that the House will take another crack at this legislation with some modifications in order to win the remaining votes needed for passage.  Meanwhile, our colleagues in the immigrant advocacy community astutely pointed out that the legislation proposed by Congress does not extend SCHIP benefits to undocumented children, nor does it extend to children who are legal, permanent residents until they’ve lived in the United States for five years.  The Coalition decries this blatantly discriminatory and medically unsound feature of the bill, and urges members of Congress to pass SCHIP legislation that provides medical benefits to all children, regardless of immigration status.


Center Presents: Benefits Management for Transition Age Youth

The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery will be presenting the following training:

Benefits Management Transition Age Youth*

Date:            November 27th, 2007

Time:            9:00am - 4:00pm

Location:      The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies

Facilitator:     Ed Lopez, Esq.  |  Fee: $25

This full day training will focus on a number of topical issues pertaining to entitlements for transition age youth with emotional and behavioral problems. Our expert trainer will carefully review the eligibility requirements for a wide array of Social Security benefits, including SSI and work incentive provisions.  Many of the frequently asked questions raised by consumers and their families will be answered.  This session will include a hands-on case study to help participants apply what they have learned.

To register for this training, please visit the Center’s webpage at www.coalitionny.org/the_center. Space is limited, so we encourage you to register yourself or your staff as soon as possible.

* All Center trainings qualify for credit hours toward the Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) credential.


Coalition Urges CMS to Withdraw Harmful “Upper Payment Limit” Proposal

The Coalition is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw proposed rules that would result in the wholesale dismantling of vital programs serving New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities throughout the city.  Our comments to CMS can be read here.  Furthermore, the proposed regulations are in direct violation of the Congressional moratorium barring CMS from regulating on matters relating to how states finance their Medicaid programs.

The Coalition has shared our comments with the New York City Congressional Delegation and is seeking their help in urging CMS to withdraw these proposed rule changes.


The Professional Learning Center's November Calendar of Trainings

  • 11/02/07 Advanced Management Training - Utilizing Performance Indicators/Maximizing Revenue
  • 11/09/07 Co-Occuring Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Disorders in Addiction 
  • 11/16/07 Advanced Management Training - Understanding and Interpreting Basic Financial Statements
  • 11/19/07 Medicaid Compliance: Provider Protection for Article 31Programs
  • 11/20/07 Medicaid Compliance: Provider Protection for 822 Programs
  • 11/26/07 Advanced Management Training - Managing Difficult Employees/Mediating and Resolving Conflicts

All trainings take place at The Coalition, 90 Broad St, 8th Fl.  Register on-line now!


Center’s Youth Seminar Series -- Sex, Sexuality, and Sexual Orientation

This seminar will focus on adolescent sexuality within a clinical context, in terms of problems related to intimacy, attachment, peer pressure, and identity formation.  It will also situate the experience of the body within larger cultural concerns, such as sex education, policies related to abstinence, sexually transmitted disease and teenage pregnancy.  Participants will also study specific problems associated with sexual orientation, the stigma that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender young people contend with, and how counseling staff can support them. The presentation will include guest speakers from the Ali Forney Center. Friday, November 30th, 9:30-12:00 at The Coalition, 90 Broad St, 8th Fl. Click here to REGISTER Now.


Purchase your Coalition IDDT Training DVDs Today!

Agencies interested in purchasing any or all of the Coalition’s Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) training DVDs should visit our website (www.coalitionny.org) and click on the button that reads “New IDDT Training Series on DVD” on the right hand of the screen.   The DVDs feature national experts who provide in-depth training on components like Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Counseling and skills for working with special populations including adolescents and families.  These trainings were taped during the 2005-2006 training series.   Each training session is $60; the entire nine-part series is $500.

Don’t miss out! Purchase your copy today!


Fostering Mental Health Recovery through Person-Centered Treatment Planning

The Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery in partnership with The NYAPRS’ Collective on Recovery, Rehabilitation and Rights, The Western New York Care Coordination Project, New York State Office of Mental Health, New York City Field Office, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will present a training designed for clinical supervisors and program managers in mental health programs looking to:

  • Support recovery through the practice of person-centered treatment planning
  • Document the medical necessity of treatment and rehabilitation services
  • Enhance organizational capacity to deliver person-centered services

The training will be held on November 19 and 20, 2007, 9am-4pm (registration and coffee: 8:30am), at OASAS, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, New York City Office, 501 7th Avenue (at 37th Street), 8th  Floor.   Register Now


Around the water cooler…

Trix Niernberger named new Executive Director of NAMI-NYS

Congratulations go to Trix Niernberger upon her appointment as the new Executive Director of the New York State branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  Prior to this appointment, Ms. Niernberger worked in both the public and private non-profit sector in a number of States, and also served as a consultant for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Visiting Nurses CEO Named One of New York’s 100 Most Influential Women

Carol Raphael, CEO of Visiting Nurse Service of NY was named one of the city’s 100 most influential women by Crain’s New York Business magazine.  Indeed, she was also listed as one of the Power 25, a new Crain’s listing highlighting the city’s women who wield the most clout. Ms. Raphael, a former public school teacher and principal, oversees more than 12,000 employees and a budget of nearly $1 billion.  She is the first non-nurse to head the 114-year old VNSNY.

UNH’s Jessica Walker Moves On

The Coalition will miss working with Jessica Walker, the former senor policy associate at United Neighborhood Houses of New York, the federation of New York City settlement houses and neighborhood houses.  Ms. Walker was instrumental in helping to develop UNH’s advocacy agenda regarding seniors, and authored a groundbreaking report regarding the social isolation experienced by many older New Yorkers.  She also was a partner of the Coalition in obtaining funding from the City Council for the Geriatric Mental Health Initiative.  Ms. Walker is currently working in the health policy division of the New York Academy of Medicine, where we wish her all the best.  Crissy Liu has replaced Ms. Walker at UNH.


AAPR Honors Hogan, Rivera and MH News

The American Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (AAPR) recognized OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan, Assembly Mental Health Committee Chair Peter Rivera and the Mental Health News at an October 18th ceremony at the United Nations.  We congratulate the honorees and the AAPR for recognizing the significant contributions they’ve made in the field.  Ira Minot, publisher and founder of Mental Health News, received the Coalition’s Media Award in 2005.


Coalition Job Boards

Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board!  Here's a sample:

Job #  Job Title
3434 Social Worker

Director, Single Room Community Residence

3331 Counselor (Part-time or Full-time, Mental Health)



Intensive Case Manager

We also have a job board for psychiatrists only.  APA members regularly look at this listing for potential hourly or per diem positions.

Job #  Job Title

Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist



The Coalition Home | Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery | Coalition Briefs | Advocate for Mental Health | Policy Positions
Professional Learning Center | Member Agencies | Jobs | Calendar | Links

About Us | Site Index | Contact Us | Donate

If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, or if you would prefer to receive Briefs via fax,
please reply to this e-mail. Comments and suggestions may be directed to mpolenberg@coalition.org

90 Broad Street, 8th floor, New York, NY 10004
Tel: (212) 742-1600     Fax: (212) 742-2080