Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month!

Mental Health Awareness month was started by Mental Health America in 1949. By having a month dedicated to behavioral health, providers have the opportunity to shed light on access to care, stigma and any number of issues that impact people living with mental health issues and substance use disorders. Higlighted below are brief descriptions of some of the events being held to promote Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Mental Health First Aid

May is the perfect time for Mental Health First Aid. On that note, The Coalition will host a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) USA workshop on May 16th and 17th. 

Amanda Saake and Melissa Thomas of The Coalition’s Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery will facilitate this groundbreaking public education program which introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. To learn more about Mental Health First Aid, please visit their website at www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org. For more information on our Mental Health First Aid workshop, please click here.

What's Great in Our State 2017

On May 2, 2017, New York State Office of Mental Health hosted a Children’s Mental Health Awareness event called “What’s Great in Our State 2017." This year’s celebration recognized the work of programs, agencies, educators, parents and students who dedicate their time assisting and guiding children, youth and families. The event included a special appearance by Senator Jesse Hamilton and honored Coalition member The Guidance Center of Westchester for their Foundations in Feelings program. 

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

On May 4, 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) held “Mental Health Awareness Live!” in honor of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The national event featured an interactive talk show format that focused on the importance of incorporating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth and adolescents living with mental health and substance use disorders. 

National Prevention Week

In support of National Prevention Week (May 14-20, 2017), the National Council released a paper titled Substance Use, Misuse, and Addiction Prevention. This report focuses on the basics of prevention, its impact, and the finances behind prevention activities. National Prevention Week is a fitting time to reflect on what we mean when we talk about substance use prevention. This document will assist providers in spreading the word and properly evaluate the definition of prevention as well as its practice.

May 9, 2017

Coalition Parachute Wiki

Resources for behavioral health providers on the value of integrating peer staff to improve care and outcomes.

Visit our Parachute Wiki »

Professional Learning Center Store

HIPAA Business Associate Agreement Templates, now available. HITECH and Breach Notification changes apply to BAAs.

Be compliant, purchase now!! »

Coalition Video on YouTube

Empowering Lives Through Community Behavioral Health - Five stories narrated by Mike Wallace in two parts.

Watch the videos »


Coalition News:

Update from The Coalition's Compliance Committee

With Mental Health Awareness Month upon us, it is a timely reminder for providers to examine service provision and quality metrics. In that spirit, The Coalition’s Compliance Committee met on May 2, 2017, where Kate Davidson, LCSW, Assistant Vice President, Practice Improvement and Sam Holcombe, MPH, Director, PracticeImprovement from The National Council presented Care Transitions Network for People with Serious Mental Illness. The presentation focused on defining the care transitions network, reviewing the five phases of transformation, looking at the impact of value based payments, identifying the best approach, evaluating outcomes, etc. Both presenters provided attendees with useful resources and examples to help navigate the new behavioral health care environment. 

Members, be sure not to miss our next Compliance Committee scheduled on Monday, July 10, 2017 from 3:30pm – 5:00pm.

NYC FY2018 Executive Budget Released by Mayor de Blasio

On April 26, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued New York City’s Fiscal Year 2018 Executive Expense Budget. The budget is noteworthy for two signature initiatives of Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray, ThriveNYC and HealingNYC. 

The budget includes the following additions:

  • $8.2 million for this year’s allocation to HealingNYC to address the opioid epidemic;
  • $1.1 million added to Intensive Mobile Teams which serve people living with serious mental illness;
  • $3.1 million added to expand Cure Violence for youth affected by gun violence; and
  • $1.13 million added to the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program.

The FY18 Executive Budget does not address the $12.8 million of discretionary funding that was invested in eight Mental Health Services Initiatives in FY17. The Coalition, with your help, will advocate the City Council for full restoration of these critical initiatives* (revised).

ThriveNYC - NYC Council Holds Oversight Hearing


On May 2, 2017, the NYC Council Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse & Disability Services, chaired by Council Member Andrew Cohen, held an oversight hearing on ThriveNYC. Thrive is the $850 million package of 54 initiatives that is the first comprehensive compendium of municipal funded programs not only in New York City, but in the nation.

The hearing began with testimony from First Lady Chirlane McCray, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery and Dr. Gary Belkin, Executive Deputy Commissioner at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Together, they provided an update on the program’s 54 initiatives and answered questions from Council Members on topics ranging from cultural competency in service delivery and progress on the NYC Well initiative. 

The Coalition and our members, MHA-NYC and The Jewish Board, testified at the hearing. In The Coalition’s testimony, Christy Parque, President & CEO, provided commentary on Thrive’s Mental Health Service Corps, the NYC Well program, the Shelter Newborn Home Visiting Program and staff training. 


We invite you to continue reading the other news items from the Coalition this month.

Slides Available from The Coalition's Annual Conference: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities


  • Keynote: Looking Through the Federal Lens (Albeit Foggy!)
    Rebecca Farley, Vice President, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

    Click Here

  • Understanding Value in Integrated Behavioral Health
    Facilitator: Kristin Woodlock, CEO, Woodlock & Associates, LLC

  • The New Partnership Paradigm in Integrated Behavioral Health
    Facilitator: Bruce Feig, Senior Consultant, Sachs Policy Group

  • Use of Data, Information and Technology for Informed Decision Making
    Facilitator: John Kastan, Chief Program Officer, The Jewish Board

    Presentation 1 (David Woodlock - ICL)
    Presentation 2 (Traci Donnelly - The Child Center of New York)
    Presentation 3 (Daniel Farrell - HELP USA)
    Presentation 4 (Virna Little - The Institute for Family Health)

To view:

The full agenda: click here.

Photos from the conference: click here.

Our press release for the conference: click here.

A list of our sponsors & vendors, click here.