An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Behavioral Health in New York
May 20, 2013
Coalition Leadership Awards Event Set for June 27th
After months of displacement from Hurricane Sandy, we are pleased to report that we are back on track and gearing up for our annual Leadership Awards Reception. Each year, community leaders and behavioral health professionals gather at this most celebrated event to honor individuals who have shown commitment and dedication to improving the lives of people with behavioral health disorders and strong service to the behavioral health community. Come out and celebrate our Leadership Awards event on Thursday, June 27, 2013, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Pfizer World Headquarters on 235 East 42nd Street. Stay tuned for more details on how to purchase tickets and place ads in our e-journal.
With Mayor Bloomberg releasing the City’s FY14 Executive Budget on May 2, 2013, The Coalition maintains our advocacy efforts to restore and enhance the behavioral health initiatives sponsored by the City Council each year. It is through the City Council’s Mental Health Contracts initiative that The Coalition’s Professional Learning Center brings unique learning opportunities, technical assistance and training to the City’s community-based behavioral health agencies, helping them survive in an uncertain world filled with mandated reforms. We are also advocating for the Children Under Five Mental Health Initiative which delivers specialized services to a cohort of children exhibiting behavioral difficulties because they have experienced or been exposed to traumas like domestic violence and abuse; Geriatric Mental Health Initiative which allows seniors struggling with depression, anxiety, isolation or bereavement to receive help in community settings like senior centers, social groups, primary healthcare sites and in their own homes. In addition, through support from the City Council, the Mental Hygiene Contracted Services PEG funds agencies that help people with severe mental illness and substance use disorders recover by linking them to appropriate supports and treatment in the community. The FY14 City Budget is scheduled to be passed by June 30, 2013.
On May 7, 3013, Governor Cuomo announced $91 million in awards to build 2,060 units of affordable housing across New York State. In New York City, $1.7 million will leverage new construction of 80 rental units for low-income households, including 40 units for those who are or are at serious risk of becoming chronically homeless. Supportive services for these households will be provided by CAMBA, a Coalition member. Rental subsidies for half of these units will be provided by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) as part of the NYNYIII agreement with the City of New York. In the Mid-Hudson region, $2.9 million create 42 rental units for low-income families, with 13 set aside for persons with special needs, including 5 units for persons living with AIDS. The Mid-Hudson awards will involve coordinated investment with NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).
Kristen Woodlock, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) just finished her statewide listening tour to gather feedback for a strategic business plan to consolidate and reconfigure OMH’s inpatient Psychiatric Centers, transforming a portion into outpatient services. The Coalition attended the forum held in New York City on May 3, 2013, and submitted comments. We view this as a significant opportunity for enhanced care while saving state resources. At the same time, we want to make sure that the services offered in the new Regional Centers of Excellence are not duplicative or competitive with the community-based system. We suggested “gap filling” ideas like the provision of intensive crisis services, temporary residences for step-down and diversionary services, respite services for families, enhancing mental health care in prisons, as well as a number of programs that would develop linkages from inpatient care to community. Recommendations are due to be out next week. Stay tuned for more details.
The New York Times reports that beginning in July, New York City will implement treatment oriented approaches for people with mental illness in jail rather than enforcing disciplinary repercussions when they break the rules. According to the article, more than one third of people in City jails have a mental illness, and about a third of them have serious mental illnesses like major depression and schizophrenia. Inmates with mental illness are more likely not to adhere to rules in jail, multiple times a day, resulting in solitary confinement. Under the new approach, when inmates with serious mental illness break rules, they will be transferred to an internal clinic for treatment and medicine. Those with less serious mental illness will be assigned to counseling programs.
The most recent Epi Data Brief from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) shows a disturbing increase in the rate of unintentional opioid analgesic poisoning (overdose from prescription pain relievers) increasing by 65% between 2005 and 2011. According to the report, 35% of unintentional drug poisoning deaths in 2011 involved an opioid, compared to 16% in 2005. During the same period, the overall rates of drug poisoning deaths decreased by 22%. While all boroughs experienced a rise in the rate of prescription opioid overdoses, Staten Island had the most striking increase at 261%.
The Coalition is proud to announce that Qualifacts has joined us as an Affiliate Member. Qualifacts builds and implements web-based Electronic Health Records for behavioral health agencies. Founded in 2000, Qualifacts is the largest provider of Software-as-a-Service and web-based Electronic Health Records for the behavioral health and human services market. Its team helps over 20,000 behavioral healthcare providers and staff realize improved billing and clinical operations, increased agency revenue, faster payment and better client and staff satisfaction. In 2012, Qualifacts was named one of the fastest growing private companies in America.
Working with People Coming out of Nursing, Adult Homes and other Institutional Settings
New York State has embarked on a new round of deinstitutionalization, bringing people back from nursing and adult homes, and other institutional settings. For the first time, many people are hearing that they need to focus on recovery, to have goals, and to live more independently. It is up to the mental health programs to work with these consumers to foster a belief that this is possible, but how?
Facilitator: Amanda Saake, LMSW
Preparing PROS for Managed Care and Health Homes
Facilitator: Naomi Weinstein, MPH
The Institute for Community Living (ICL) has appointed David Woodlock as its new President and CEO. Mr. Woodlock replaces Retired Founder, President & CEO Dr. Peter C. Campanelli (former Coalition President), and is expected to assume leadership of ICL on July 1, 2013. Most recently, he served as CEO of Four Winds Hospital, a private psychiatric system in upstate New York, where he replaced the facility's founder. During his five-year tenure at Four Winds, Mr. Woodlock was responsible for the overall executive leadership of the 88-bed inpatient services for children, adolescents and adults, an Adult Partial Hospital Program, and a Child and Adolescent Outpatient Program overall serving over 5,000 individuals annually. He also led a major collaborative primary care initiative.
Glenda G. Smith has been named Executive Director of Bridging Access to Care (BAC), formerly known as Brooklyn AIDS Task Force. Smith began her career at the agency in 1989, where she has held a variety of positions. Most currently she served as Chief Program Officer since 2006. BAC is the oldest and largest non-profit HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment service organization in Brooklyn, providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS related services to underserved racial /ethnic minority communities in the borough. Over the past few years BAC has expanded its scope of service to include licensed mental health and substance abuse clinics. In 2012, it developed a Health Home Care coordination team.
Dr. Rosa Gil was honored by the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. The award was in recognition of her life’s work to address the needs of New Yorkers living in poverty. Dr. Gil is the President and CEO of Comunilife, a health and human service agency, whose mission is to improve the quality of life and create a healthier tomorrow for New Yorkers with special needs in the Hispanic and broader communities – by providing culturally competent health and human services and a continuum of affordable and supportive housing.
The Mental Health Association (MHA) of Westchester has been selected as one of four sites across New York State for OnTrackNY My Health, My Choices, My Future, an innovative treatment program for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 16-30 who are within one year of experiencing symptoms of non-affective psychosis. The program is based upon the principles of shared decision making, recovery orientation, a person centered approach, flexibility and accessibility.
Astor Services for Children & Families celebrated the opening of its new Children's Mental Health Clinic in Ellenville, NY, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday. Guests included Ulster County Executive, Mike Hein and Jeff Kaplan, Ellenville Village Mayor. Also on hand were representatives from Ulster County Mental Health Department, including Dr. Carol Smith, Commissioner; Cheryl Qamar, Deputy Commissioner, and Amy McCracken, Program Supervisor Clinical Services.
Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board! Here's a sample: