"Solutions That Work" Web Series on Health Integration, Access & Engagement and Peer Services

NYAPRS Note: MCTAC+ announces the Solutions that Work webinar series! These three webinars promise a lively discussion from expert panelists in the areas of peer innovation, access and engagement and health integration. Register now to take part in the conversation about how to increase your organization’s part in the value equation!

Solutions That Work Webinar Series

New York State has embarked on number of  significant changes to its healthcare systems. To be successful in this new environment providers will need to achieve triple aim.

We have gathered a group of innovative providers from across the state who are working on just that, and we invite you to join them for 3 conversations on value solutions that work. MCTAC+ is offering 3 “Solutions That Work” webinars focusing on proven implementation strategy in 3 essential solution orientations: Peer Services, Health Integration, and Access and Engagement. We invite you to join us for a frank discussion with the leaders and innovators themselves.

These webinars are intended for behavioral health executives, managers, direct care staff and anyone interested in applying solutions for meeting the value challenge.

Peer Services in the Value Equation: Solutions That Work
Wednesday, September 26th from 12-1pm
Register here! 

Access and Engagement in the Value Equation: Solutions That Work
Thursday, October 25th from 12-1pm
Register here!

Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care: Solutions That Work
November 2018. Stay tuned for registration information on this webinar.

5 Essential Healthcare Policy Questions for Candidates: Manderscheid

5 Essential Healthcare Policy Questions for Candidates

by Ron Manderscheid, PhD, Exec Dir, NACBHDD and NARMH  Behavioral Healthcare  September 17, 2018

Shorter days, school buses and crisp mornings signal the return of fall, as well as our approaching midterm elections. Just as we prepare for this new season with great anticipation, we also must prepare for the upcoming elections. The best way to do so is to develop a set of questions for all of our national, state, county and local candidates, irrespective of party, and to pose the questions to each of them.

Because of the recent catastrophic threats to healthcare in Congress, it will be very important to know where each of these candidates stands on the key issues that will influence our capacity to deliver good health, behavioral health and public health care in the future. Toward this end, I provide the following essential questions to be asked of each candidate.

What do you see as the future of Medicaid? It is very clear that the entire system of Medicaid health insurance, including the state Medicaid expansions, is essential for those who are disabled and poor. Hence, funding should not be reduced, and the program should not be converted to a block grant, or otherwise undercut.

What about the future of health insurance delivered through the state health insurance marketplaces? This health insurance program is essential for those who are near-poor and who do not have health insurance available through other sources. Further, the subsidies for insurance deductibles and care delivery provided through this program are equally essential.

Do you value an expansion of behavioral healthcare? Behavioral healthcare is an essential component public and personal health care that should be available to every American. It should include not only treatment and rehabilitation, but also prevention and promotion. Behavioral healthcare requires expansion because 85% of our counties have either inadequate or no care; most of these counties are rural.

Will you prioritize improved funding for community behavioral healthcare services? To each of us, it is painfully obvious that community behavioral healthcare is dramatically underfunded, and has been so for many decades. The solution to this dilemma is not to build more hospital beds or inpatient units in our city and county jails, but rather to develop those components of community care that can obviate the need for hospitalization.

Will you support an integrated healthcare model? The future lies in integrated care, not in the separate systems designed a half-century ago. Most people with behavioral health conditions have chronic physical diseases. We need good technical assistance and financial resources to make the transition to this new world.

I encourage you to attend candidates’ political rallies this fall, to phone in to candidate forums when opportunities present themselves, and to actually visit candidates in their offices. Ask them the hard questions. If we all do this carefully and consistently, we are much less likely to be shocked by what our elected official propose and undertake in 2019.


Reserve Now for Oct 13 NYC Mental Health Film Festival!


WHEN: Saturday, October 13, 2018

WHERE: Village East Cinema, Second Avenue & 12th Street, NYC


$20: Morning Session
$20: Afternoon Session
$30: All Day Pass

Back in 2005, we started a fun new event for people in the mental health community: a day of films and discussion. We selected the best films we could find about mental health issues, screened them, and related them to our experiences. More than 50 films and 5,000 audience members later, we’re still going strong! The NYC Mental Health Film Festival is now a go-to event for filmmakers from around the world with a passion for justice and an interest in mental health.

Join us on October 13 for the 14th Annual NYC Mental Health Festival! We’re finalizing a great lineup of films. We look forward to seeing you!

Presented by Community Access, #MHFF is the oldest and largest mental health film festival in the United States. By building a community through film and promoting social justice and human rights, the festival takes a bold stand in fighting the stigma that people living with mental health concerns often face.

ave Nov 15-16 for NYAPRS Recovery & Rehab Academy in Saratoga

NYAPRS Note: On the heels of last week’s terrific Annual Conference, our NYAPRS Training Collective and our partners at the Center for Practice Innovations, the Coalition for Behavioral Health and the NYS Office of Mental Health are very pleased to release this November 15-16 Save the Date for our Annual Recovery and Rehabilitation Academy, ‘Outreach to Engagement to Activation’.

The Academy will bring us back to the lovely Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs and will feature a keynote address from Matthew Federici, executive director of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. Look for more details shortly.  


1 Month Left: Register for Oct 11-13 5th World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry

5th World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry
World Association of Cultural Psychiatry
October 11-13, 2018, Pre-Congress October 10
Columbia University, New York City, USA

Dear Colleague:

There are only 4 weeks left before the 5th World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry!  Our scientific program includes over 340 presenters from 40 countries.


Our Plenaries include outstanding presenters from around the world:

Keynote Lecture on Mexican foundational myths from WACP President Sergio Villaseñor-Bayardo (Mexico)

Keynote Panel on culturally grounded, municipal initiatives to overcome mental health disparities, led by:

Gary Belkin, Exec. Deputy Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene (USA)
Palmira Fortunato dos Santos, Ministry of Health (Mozambique)
Graciela Rojas Castillo, Prof. of Psychiatry, attached to the Ministry of Health (Chile)
Jacqui Dyer, Vice-Chair, Mental Health Task Force, NHS, and Thrive London (UK)

A Dialogue between Laurence Kirmayer (Canada) and Vikram Patel (India) on the Global-Local Tension in Global Mental Health

A Plenary Panel on the Future of Cultural Psychiatry, led by:

Neil Krishan Aggarwal, Columbia University, NYS Psychiatric Institute (USA)
Christine Musyimi, Africa Mental Health Foundation (Kenya)
Rahul Shidhaye, Public Health Foundation of India (India)
Ingrid Vargas Huicochea, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico)
Jianzhong Yang, 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University (China)

To view the entire program, click here or follow this link: http://wacp2018.org/program-tab-style/

We also want to tell you more about the PRE-CONGRESS: It will be held on October 10, 8:30–4:00pm at the New York Institute of Technology Auditorium on Broadway, located at 1871 Broadway, New York, NY 10023. 

There will be two plenary panels, presented by 17 international and New York-based speakers:

Dimensions of religion and spirituality in mental health
Case presentations by psychiatry residents and child fellows discussed by clinicians from Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Come share in a more intimate gathering with colleagues from around the world working in culture and mental health!

The State of New York Office of Mental Health SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0227. Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSWs) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) who attend the Pre-Congress Day in its entirety will receive 5 contact hours toward renewal of their social work license.

Cost: $50 for physicians from the United States and other High-Income Countries (HIC); $30 for non-MD participants from the United States and other HIC’s; $30 for physicians from World Bank Band B countries; free for trainees and all other categories.

To register, please follow this link: http://wacp2018.org/registration/#pre-congress

As of September 2nd, regular registration rates are in effect. We are happy to announce that the organizing committee has lowered these rates to make the Congress more affordable.

Click here to learn more about the New Rates or follow the link below. http://wacp2018.org/registration/

The 5th World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry has organized several events on Friday evening, October 12, that provide Congress participants with an opportunity to explore the city in the company of other attendees.

Activities Include:
9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM + FREEDOM TOWER (One World Observatory)
HUDSON RIVER AND HARBOR CRUISE (Harbor Lights - Circle Line tours)

Click here or follow the link below to learn more:

Looking forward to seeing you in New York City in October!

Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD                  
President, 5th WCCP
President-Elect, WACP       

Daniel C. Chen, MD
Co-President, 5th WCCP

Bonnie Kaiser, PhD
Chair, Program Committee, 5th WCCP

Oscar Jiménez-Solomon, MPH
Chair, Local Organizing Committee, 5th WCCP

For more information or if you have any questions about the Congress, please contact us at: info@wacp2018.org

Sept 19: Ask Laverne Miller Anything About Peer Support Staff Issues

"Ask Me Anything" Employment Series

National Resource Center on Employment

You’re invited to ask an expert about coping with mental health conditions that interfere with work.

On Wednesday, September 19th, 2018, from 2:00-3:00 PM ET, LaVerne Miller, via webinar, will answer any questions you have related to helping programs to improve recruiting, hiring, integrating, and advancing peer staff and preparing and hiring peers, particularly justice-involved peers to work in criminal justice settings.

This free, online event is not a presentation but an interactive question & answer webinar.

Regardless of whether you are a person living with a mental health condition, a family member, an administrator of a service, a provider, a researcher — you can use the time to ask anything related to benefits and employment to our guest expert.

For example, you could ask about:

  • Does your program provide services to peers with a history of involvement with the criminal justice system?

  • What recruitment and hiring practices do you use to recruit qualified staff who have criminal justice histories?

  • What challenges have you experienced in recruiting justice involved peer staff?

  • What concerns do you have about hiring peer staff with histories of involvement with the criminal justice system?

  • What policy changes is your organization prepared to make to increase the recruitment and hiring of peer staff?

LaVerne Miller, Senior Project Associate, Policy Research Associates, Inc.

LaVerne Miller, BA, JD has over 20 years of leadership experience in transforming behavioral health systems and integrating individuals with lived experience into program planning, implementation, service delivery, and evaluation. She leads peer-focused activities at SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation. Ms. Miller provides TA to programs to improve recruiting, hiring, integrating, and advancing peer staff. She has also provided TA to mental health transformation projects, including programs with peer staff providing evidence-based practices, such as Supported Employment, Supportive Housing, Supported Education, Critical Time Intervention, and Trauma-Informed Care. Ms. Miller is the former director of the internationally recognized Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy Center in New York. In this role, she developed the first training program to prepare justice-involved peers to work in criminal justice settings. She developed curricula and an internship program to prepare graduates to work in human services as peers and other roles. A member of the New York State Bar, Ms. Miller has worked as Assistant District Attorney in New York County and as an attorney and community organizer with Jamaica Housing Improvement.

Register for the FREE webinar now and ask your questions!

OM: Developing A Value-Based Care Model With Peer Support

Developing A Value-Based Care Model With Peer Support—Two Case Studies

By Athena Mandros  Open Minds September 11, 2018

 Developed by OPEN MINDS, 163 York Street, Gettysburg PA 17325, www.openminds.com.  All rights reserved. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work without written permission from OPEN MINDS

 The benefits of peer support service are widely known—the use of peer supports can result in reductions in hospital admissions, reduction of inpatient days, and increased use of outpatient services. Additionally, the model helps to improve consumer outcomes, including increased consumer empowerment, increased sense that treatment is responsive, and increased social support and social functioning (see Bringing Recovery Supports To Scale: Peer Support). As a result, the use of peers and peer support programs can lend itself to success with value-based arrangements.

 Last month at The 2018 OPEN MINDS Management Best Practices Institute, I had the chance to hear from two organizations that have value-based arrangements related to peer supports during the session, The Future Of Peer Support Services: Successful Models For A Value-Based Market, led by OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Ken Carr.

 First to speak was Briana Gilmore, Senior Strategy Consultant at Community Access in New York City, a 400-employee organization that provides supportive housing, recovery supports, and advocacy services. What makes Community Access unique is its aim to have at least 51% of staff with "lived experience." Community Access has a performance-based contract with the city of New York for their assisted competitive employment program; 20% of their contract payment is based on their success in supporting a number of individuals they work with in maintaining employment for three month, six month, and nine month intervals using the "find, get, keep" model. They are at risk for 20% of the contract payment if the peer employment specialists cannot support participants in obtaining and maintaining competitive employment.

 Ms. Gilmore noted that the model is challenging for a couple of reasons. The first is that many people need support with logistics like completing school degrees or gaining skills on the computer. It can take time for people to be ready to find a job and not every participant is ready at the same pace, so it can be difficult to predict aggregated outcomes. Additionally, Ms. Gilmore noted that the supported employment model itself can be problematic, because the focus on competitive work in recovery services is sometimes not matched with a similar emphasis on well-being and other social determinants that help a person maintain employment.

 Second on the agenda was Sue Ann Atkerson, LPC, MBA, the Chief Operating Officer at RI International. RI International is a multi-state (and multi-national) behavioral health organization headquartered in Arizona. RI International has about 1,000 employees, about 50% of which have lived experience. In Arizona, RI International uses peer recovery teams to provide group and one-on-one services to individuals transitioning from the Desert Vista Hospital and the Recovery Innovations Recovery Response Center Peoria. Funding for the program is in the form of monthly payments, plus quarterly performance-based incentives. The performance incentives are based on a variety of metrics, including: 95% of individuals receive services within 24 hours of referral; 90% receive a behavioral health medical professional (BHMP) appointment within seven days of discharge; and 90% are not readmitted to a hospital within 30 days.

 What were my key takeaways from the speakers in this session?

 Peer support has better outcomes—Peer support services do not just move the costs from higher-level employees to lower-level employees. The peer support model often has better outcomes for consumers than higher paid clinical professionals.

 Peers can be deployed throughout the service system—Peers should not be regulated to certain jobs or roles. To run an organization that best serves consumers, there should be individuals with lived experience at all levels of the organization—including on the executive team and the board.

 Push for shared savings opportunities—Peer support programs can result in big savings. Ms. Atkerson explained that some of these programs are huge cost savings in the millions of dollars, but provider organizations don't see the benefits of these savings. RI International is looking to move to shared model based on quality and value.

 Keep track of the numbers—Any value-based arrangement needs data for real-time management of performance, outcomes, and expenses. To help track this data and to view it in "real-time", RI International created a series of dashboards that give a simple, visual snapshot of how the organization is performing. Ms. Atkerson noted that even if your organization isn't ready to develop a dashboard system, you can begin to track data using simple charts and reports for one or two items.

Judges as Champions for Suicide Prevention

Judges as Champions for Suicide Prevention

by Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren  medium.com September 12, 2018

 In April 2016, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Executive Forum, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc. I was there to speak on Broward’s mental health court and its therapeutic approach based on human dignity and principles of recovery. As I waited, an alert came across my phone. The New York Times had just reported a 30-year high rate of deaths by suicide in America.

At that moment, I had to do more to reduce stigma surrounding suicide prevention. As soon as I returned, I affirmatively declared Broward’s mental health court, A Zero Suicide Initiative Court. Meaning that suicide prevention is now elevated as a core priority of the court.

 What is Zero Suicide?

According to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, “Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems, and also a specific set of tools and strategies. As noted, it is both a concept and a practice.” Zero Suicide is a system-wide approach, which intersects with the legal system across many sectors.

 Problem Solving & Unified Collaborative Family Courts

As pioneer of the first mental health court in the U.S. I am aware of the accelerated growth and popularity of court strategies which are collaborative and look to “root causes” and respond to psycho-social problems which land on the courthouse steps. Since the establishment of the first drug court in 1989, and mental health court in 1997, the integration of behavioral health as a part of the court process is well accepted. Judges and legal actors in problem-solving treatment courts, juvenile and collaborative family courts are highly educated in matters of behavioral health. This includes early childhood development, adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care, domestic violence and evidence-based data on what works in terms of behavioral health strategies and best practices.

 Raising the Bar for Suicide Prevention

I have written several articles on the importance of judicial engagement in raising the urgency for suicide prevention in the legal system. Elements for Zero Suicide in health care delivery systems include: leadership, training, identification of risk, engagement in safety planning, effective treatment, continuity of care and improved quality of data.

From a judicial perspective, many of these same elements are relevant in terms of leadership and suicide prevention education and awareness. Examples of how I implemented a Zero Suicide Initiative in mental health court include the following:

  • Suicide prevention is pronounced as a court priority.

  • Messaging, education and breaking the silence surrounding suicide prevention by continuous messaging about suicide risk and prevention.

  • Every individual is provided information on suicide prevention and crisis resources, including local helplines and the national suicide prevention Lifeline.

  • In-court clinicians screen for suicide risk factors.

  • Advocacy for community-wide suicide prevention comprehensive strategies.

 A New View on Risk for Suicide

According to a recent report from the CDC, ‘Nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide in 2016.” Further, researchers found that “more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death.” Problems, relating to relationships, money, jobs, physical health, family problems, housing stress and overall despair; contribute to risk for suicide. Based on this new view concerning risk of suicide, it is incumbent on all judges and legal actors take a lead for suicide prevention and help reach people outside of the traditional health care settings and champion suicide prevention.


Bring Warm Rainwear to NYAPRS' Conference; See Final Program and Corrections

 NYAPRS Note: Good morning! Our NYAPRS conference and celebration starts tomorrow Wednesday September 12 at our new main conference site at the Honor’s Haven Resort at 1195 Arrowhead Rd, Ellenville, NY 12428. As of right now, 625 individuals will be joining together in the Catskills to share in this extraordinary program and sense of celebration and community.

The forecast this week is for rain so please dress warmly and bring rainwear and umbrellas, just in case. 

PLEASE NOTE: Given our size, as many as 200 people who registered later in this ‘first come first served’ process

will be staying at our overflow site, the Hudson Valley Resort that has previously been the main site in the past.   

Accordingly, we’ll have a 50 passenger bus and several vans making the 15 minute trip between the 2 hotels on the half hour throughout the conference and into the evenings.  


Also, this year’s program is seeing a few last minute changes so please look carefully through the attached program and addendum. Also, please note that there’s an additional workshop swap on Thursday September 13 as “Peer Workers as Change Agents: Building our Collective Power” is moving to the 8:30-9:45 am time slot and “At the Heart of Medicaid Redesign” has moved to the Thursday 11:45 am – 1:00 pm time, both in the Pacific Ballroom.        

Looking Forward to a Wonderful Week Ahead in the Catskills: See You Soon!

2018 Conference Flyerd_Page_1.jpg
2018 Conference Flyerd_Page_2.jpg