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

October 15, 2020

New York State Recognizes North Country System of Care for its Dedication to Children’s Mental Health

Building Resilience in Essex Families Honored for Reducing Mental Health Stigma and Focusing on Mental Wellness for Children and Families

Albany, NY - New York State is honoring BRIEF (Building Resilience in Essex Families), a System of Care established in Essex County, with the 2020 ‘What’s Great in our State’ System of Care Award.

A System of Care is a coordinated network of cross-system partners that collaborate using governance or infrastructure to achieve their vision and goals. BRIEF is being recognized for its community-wide effort to improve health and wellbeing in Essex County. Its goal is to build resiliency through a focus on education, personal empowerment, and stigma reduction for all families.

With the overarching belief that families in Essex County can become strong and resilient, the system has expanded access and initiatives to all families, not just those with high needs. BRIEF has also worked to connect the mental health system to schools and the general community.

Its 30 members include representatives from DSS, the county health and mental health departments, Head Start, case management organizations (adult and children), local hospitals, probation, Sheriff’s department, Community Services Board, Board of Supervisors, Single Point of Access, Developmental Disability Service Organizations, schools, BOCES, substance abuse and prevention, youth commission, nurses, pediatric case managers, and family peers.

“BRIEF shows us ‘What’s Great in Our State’ by creating a cross-system collaboration that explores how to create a resilient community mindset,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “This group of professionals are engaged and excited about developing a System of Care that supports mind and body for all families in Essex County. We thank BRIEF and all our honorees for their hard work and commitment to children’s mental health.”

BRIEF was presented with the award at the annual ‘What’s Great in our State 2020’ event on October 15th held virtually via WebEx. The celebration recognizes the individuals and programs that are successfully advancing the cause of children’s mental health in New York State.

"Essex County's BRIEF (Building Resilience in Essex Families) is honored to be selected for our efforts in creating a coalition focused on building a community-wide system that includes a wide variety of providers and interested-parties," says Terri Morse, Essex County Director of Community Services. "Our goal is to help our community members – ALL community members – improve their overall health and wellbeing. With the help of Angela Keller from OMH and the System of Care framework, we have been working at developing an effective county-wide solution. Thus, BRIEF (Building Resilience in Essex Families) was born." 

 

What’s Great in Our State’

The ‘What’s Great in Our State’ event was first launched in 2010 and is typically held during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a national movement that raises awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was postponed and reorganized as a virtual celebration.

The event is sponsored by six New York State agencies and several children’s mental health advocacy organizations: The Office of Mental Health, the Council on Children and Families, the Department of Health, the State Education Department, the Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, Early Care & Learning Council, Families Together in New York State, Inc., Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness - New York State, New York State Network for Youth Success, Prevent Child Abuse New York, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., and the Suicide Prevention Center of New York.

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