An Evolving Semi-Monthly Update on Community Behavioral Health in New York
September 30, 2015
The Coalition to Participate in Hill Day 2015
Jamin Sewell from The Coalition will serve as the New York State captain at The National Council for Behavioral Health’s “Hill Day” on October 5-6. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your Federal elected officials and make your voice heard.
Each year at the “NatCon” Hill Day, hundreds of behavioral health providers, administrators, board members, consumers, and community stakeholders come to D.C. for a day of sessions and workshops on federal behavioral health policy, followed by visits with their elected officials on Capitol Hill to advocate for better resources for mental health and addictions treatment in our communities.
The Coalition is scheduling meetings with the members of the New York State Congressional Delegation and Senators we are counting on a strong turnout of our New York advocates to speak out on our concerns.
Please let us know if you are planning to attend by RSVPing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration and hotel booking can be found here: http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/events-and-training/hill-day/hill-day/.
Also, please let us know if you have made your own meetings, so we can coordinate more efficiently. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC.
On September 10, 2015, the de Blasio Administration announced that it would began accepting applications for a new $30 million mental health program, one of the first steps in an effort to refocus and reshape the city's mental health system.
The mayor's wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray has championed the cause of a mental health care overhaul, and the Connections-to-Care program, first announced in July, is an important part of the first lady's efforts to offer more services to New Yorkers who suffer from a mental illness but have never been diagnosed or would not describe themselves as mentally ill.
According to First Lady McCray, although not explicitly mentioned in the Roadmap, substance use disorder screening and referral will be included within the Connections-to-Care program.
The deadline to submit an application is October 19, 2015, and the administration expects to choose the 12 organizations by January.
The de Blasio Administration announced that Richard Buery will coordinate mental health reform for the City. Mr. Buery will work closely with NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and DOHMH Executive Deputy Commissioner Gary Belkin on the implementation of the NYC “Mental Health Roadmap” which will provide $22.4 million for new programs aimed at individuals who are at risk to themselves and others and $54.4 million on social workers and counselors at city agencies who can provide mental health services at family shelters and the city's justice centers, which serve domestic violence victims.
Longtime friend and former member of The Coalition, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services has resigned. Ms. Barrios-Paoli oversaw City agencies charged with moving New Yorkers from homelessness to stable housing, expanding community health and mental health clinics. We heartily thank her for her service to the City and wish her well in her future endeavors.
The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) announced that it hired a new a new CEO. Louise Cohen, MPH held successive leadership positions at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) for 12 years, including as Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Health Care Access and Improvement. Prior to her tenure at DOHMH, Louise was Director of the Park Slope Family Health Center (now part of the NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers network).
Ms. Cohen succeeds PCDC co-founder Ronda Kotelchuck, who recently retired after having led the organization since 1993.
Advocacy partner United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) has announced that Coalition friend, Susan Stamler will be taking the reins of the agency as its new Executive Director. Ms. Stamler will succeed Nancy Wackstein, who will be leaving UNH after 13 years to help educate the next generation of social workers to become nonprofit leaders. Stamler will begin her new position on October 26th, after leaving M+R Strategic Services where she has served as Senior Vice President for the past five years. Welcome, Susan!
A new organization has joined The Coalition family since our last issue of Briefs.
Exponents has become a new member. Exponents is a community-based organization dedicated to helping men and women suffering from the effects of substance abuse to reclaim their lives. Their programs are a synthesis of therapeutic community and low threshold principles that engage and retain clients in services. They are designed to support successful life transitions for the neediest of New Yorkers by empowering individual responsibility in an inspiring community setting. Intensive education and case management services gradually move skills needed to break barriers to gaining housing, employment, and health care. Welcome to The Coalition family!
On Wednesday, September 30th, The Bridge will hold a ribbon cutting for Tilden Gardens, its newest supportive housing residence. Tour the facility, meet the staff and tenants, and learn about the support services they provide to help residents maintain their housing and lead healthy, productive lives. Tilden Gardens houses 60 individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness, including 15 young adults who have aged out of juvenile treatment facilities. More information can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tilden-gardens-ribbon-cutting-ceremony-registration-10489742101
MHA of NYC will receive a grant from SAMHSA of $15.9 million for The Lifeline, 1-800-273 TALK (8255), to continue to administer and enhance the nationwide network of crisis centers that provides help 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week counseling for individuals in emotional distress or suicidal crisis. Congratulations!
Karyn Krampitz, Director of The Coalition’s Professional Learning Center, was selected for the New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program. Congrats, Karyn!
The Coalition’s Amanda Saake, made 3 presentations at NYAPRS’ 33rd Annual Conference held onSeptember 16 – September 18:
Great work, Amanda!
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Congresswoman Grace Meng took a tour of businesses on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, New York including Coalition member Transitional Services of New York’s (TSINY) affirmative business bookstore, Turn The Page...Again! Turn The Page...Again is the only bookstore of its kind in Queens, and it provides onsite job training and support for TSINY’s clients to help them gain retail and customer service skills with the goal of seeking gainful employment after nine months of working at the store.
Coalition Members advertise staff positions for free on The Coalition’s Job Board! Here's a sample: