Mental Health in New York State: Changes & Challenges for Public Health

Originally presented on May 15, 2014

Kelly Hansen
Executive Director
New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors

Glenn Liebman
Mental Health Association in New York State

Persons suffering from mental illness, particularly those with a co-occurring substance use disorder or physical health co-morbidities, on average experience significantly worse health outcomes than their peers.  In fact, a 20071 study found that people diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) died approximately 25 years earlier than the general population from largely preventable conditions, including cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, and diabetes.

Medicaid Redesign, coupled with provisions of the Affordable Care Act, is creating the push to integrate behavioral health and physical health, improve coordination of care for clients and move the full Medicaid behavioral healthcare benefit into managed care.  Simultaneously, New York State will be shifting from an institutional model of care to a community-based model, thus adding a level of complexity to an already demanding transition. 

For community-based service providers, this shift in both federal and State policies will have an impact on virtually every aspect of care in New York State, This webcast will provide an overview of the history of mental health treatment in New York State, discuss challenges in addressing mental health in the current system, illustrate how the shift in federal and state policy will impact community health providers and workers, and highlight successful approaches to addressing mental health at the community level.

Program Objectives
After watching this webcast participants will be able to:

  • Outline two common barriers to mental health services at the community level.
  • List at least two ways that service integration will impact community-based service providers.
  • Identify two strategies that are successfully addressing community mental health needs.
  • Describe the recent transformation within the NYS mental health system.

1 National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) Medical Directors Council.  (2007). Morbidity and mortality in people with serious mental illness.  Alexandria, VA. Parks, J., Svendsen, D., Singer, P., Foti, M. & Mauer, B.

This program is supported with funding from: