New York State (NYS) will improve accessibility of mental health and substance abuse treatment, recovery support and crisis care to racially and ethnically diverse residents of New York City (NYC) and 3 suburban counties (representing 75% of NYS COVID-19 infections) by improving the telehealth infrastructure, removing financial barriers, expanding evidence-based services, and informing healthcare workers and other New Yorkers about available services.
Strengthening Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment, Recovery Support and Crisis Care to Address the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on residents of NYC and Lower Hudson Valley will serve 5,000 children, adolescents, adults and families impacted by COVID-19 in NYC and the Lower Hudson Valley counties of Westchester, Rockland and Orange over the 16-month grant period. The NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Addiction Support Services and Supports (OASAS) are partnering with two provider-led behavioral health (BH) Independant Practice Associations (IPAs)-Coordinated Behavioral Health Care (CBC) and Coordinated Behavioral Health Services (CBHS)--that provide a comprehensive, integrated and coordinated network of mental health (MH) and substance use disorder (SUD) services, including treatment, recovery supports and crisis-care, in the 8-county service area that is the hardest hit area in NYS and among the most impacted nationally by COVID-19. Over 100 experienced OMH-licensed and OASAS certified agencies are in the two IPA networks and will participate in this project. Proposed strategies / intervention include healthcare workers and people without serious BH conditions in brief crisis counseling and treatment services as needed using easily accessed telehealth services and by removing any financial barriers; (2) Facilitating a person-centered continuum for people with serious mental health conditions and SUD through telehealth and in-person services if necessary in order to promote and support recovery while managing BH crisis in the community; (3) Improving transitions of care for people with serious BH conditions to shorten inpatient length of stay and stabilize people with serious conditions in community settings, thereby reducing emergency department and inpatient admissions.
Project Goals are to mitigate negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the emotional wellbeing of New Yorkers in the most impacted NYS counties by timely addressing depression, stress, trauma, bereavement, substance abuse and other issues that undermine the ability of New Yorkers to live happy, productive lives after this crisis abates.