James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

January 02, 2019

New York State Announces New Community-Based Mental Health Services for Medicaid Enrolled Children and Youth

Three New Services Will Provide Mental Health Care for Children and Youth in Homes, Schools, and the Community

Builds on New York State’s Commitment to Redesign New York’s Medicaid System

ALBANY, NY – New York State today announced the first three of six new community-based mental health services for children, youth, and families.  These services will help address the stigma of mental health treatment by providing more rapid access to mental health care where families are more comfortable, including in homes, schools, and other community locations.

These new services reflect the goal of the Children’s Medicaid Redesign Subcommittee: to ensure children and their families receive the right services at the right time, in the right amount, and in the right place. In the past, a child would need to be at risk of hospitalization before they could access intensive community-based mental health services.  These new services are available to any child on Medicaid who needs them.

Bringing these services into the home and other community settings, rather than receiving them in traditional clinical settings, makes mental health care more accessible, helping New York State to serve more children, youth, and families much earlier and with a greater likelihood of success. 

The three new services launched January 1, 2019 are called “Other Licensed Practitioner,” “Psychosocial Rehabilitation” and “Community Psychiatric Supports and Treatment” and provide therapeutic and rehabilitation support services. They are child-centered and family-focused, involving a multi-system and culturally competent approach.

“These new services show New York State’s commitment to children. We are developing strategies to help kids for their entire lives, through family support and expanded access to treatment,” said OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “This person-centered, trauma-informed care will set children and youth up for success by providing the treatment they need, when and where they need it.”

“Governor Cuomo has once again shown his dedication to transforming New York’s Medicaid program to promote better health outcomes for vulnerable children and to strengthen families,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.  “Expanding access to these vital behavioral health services will go a long way towards keeping children with their families, rather than placing them in an inpatient setting.”

OCFS Acting Commissioner Sheila J. Poole said, “These new services will greatly enhance a family’s ability to care for their children in their homes and in their communities. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in meeting this need for families, so children can receive the behavioral health and substance abuse services they need to keep families together and children from entering foster care.”

“Putting the needs of our children first ensures that they can succeed later in life,” said OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez. “These comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services will not only provide help when and where they need it most, but will also encourage a lifestyle of long-term health and wellness.”

“This collaborative approach will help ensure that young people with both developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues have access to appropriate treatment options at a young age,” said OPWDD Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner Roger A. Bearden. “By providing young people with developmental disabilities and their families with community-based crisis and peer prevention services, we can better help support young people with more complex needs to remain in their family home, and to be participating members of their communities.” 

Any child under age 21 who is Medicaid-eligible and has an identified behavioral health need can access New York’s new Children and Family Treatment and Support Services.

Find out more about the services here: https://on.ny.gov/2OJoSJH


Transforming Medicaid in New York State

Governor Cuomo initiated the State's Medicaid Redesign Team in 2011 to fundamentally restructure New York's Medicaid program to improve health outcomes, control Medicaid costs and provide high quality, integrated and coordinated care management for New York State Medicaid recipients.

In collaboration with the Medicaid Redesign Children’s Subcommittee, the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Department of Health (DOH) worked to identify six new services to benefit New York State’s children from birth to 21 years of age. Three remaining services are being developed for roll out within the year: Family Peer, Youth Peer and Crisis services.

This is a message from the New York State Office of Mental Health. 

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