The Mainstreaming of Mental Health: Grappling with City, State and Federal Developments Poised to Dramatically Alter Behavioral Health Programs

Thursday, April 16, 2015 -
3:15pm to 5:30pm EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, NYC
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Important changes in national, New York State and local health policy – linked to implementation of the Affordable Care Act – present an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically reshape our approach to community mental health. In January 2015, New York First Lady and Mayor’s Fund Chair, Chirlane McCray, in coordination with DOHMH Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Dr. Gary Belkin, announced a new initiative to create a “roadmap for a more inclusive mental health system.”

Are New York State’s efforts, which respond to imperatives contained in ACA, working in coordination with the City’s new priorities to provide care for families in underserved communities affected by depression, anxiety and addiction – not just the most acute mental health conditions that have demanded the bulk of the system’s resources in the past?

City and State agree on the basics: The infusion of billions of dollars to delivery system redesign to better integrate behavior health, social services and primary health care in New York through the ACA, DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments), and Medicaid Managed Behavioral Healthcare present a set of opportunities that are unprecedented.

To respond, the City’s Division of Mental Hygiene says it must broaden its focus from high-need and seriously ill subgroups to more prevalent behavioral health challenges and needs.

In line with the DOHMH’s larger “Health Policies in All Places” initiative, which highlights the social determinants of health and the importance of integrating services and policies, the Division of Mental Hygiene had declared its intentions to better integrate discussion, diagnosis and treatment of depression, anxiety and addiction within community settings. This will require capacity-building, collaborations, new initiatives and new skills.

How do New York State’s priorities and implementation efforts on behavioral health relate to the City’s plans? Are the systems working together or at cross-purposes?

As with any systems change aimed at improving community functioning, there will inevitably be gaps in understanding, unforeseen barriers and needs for additional resources. What can the philanthropic sector do to stay abreast of what’s happening?


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All interested funders.


3:15 - 3:30 PM Check-in
3:30 - 5:30 PM Program

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