Ben Rosen

Director of Public Information

New York State Office of Mental Health


September 15, 2014

Office of Mental Health Announces Over $894,000 in New Funding for Steuben, Allegany, and Livingston Counties

Funding associated with closure of St. James Mercy Hospital’s Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

ALBANY, NY- The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), in accordance with the 2014-2015 enacted State Budget, has allocated $894,725 for the expansion of behavioral health services in Steuben, Allegany, and Livingston counties. This funding will enable the counties to enrich their mental health services, with a focus on crisis and mobile services to prevent avoidable inpatient admissions and divert individuals to the appropriate community-based services and supports.


In June 2013, St. James Mercy Hospital announced its intention to close its inpatient psychiatric unit. As part of the 2014-2015 State Budget process, OMH and the New York State Department of Health (DOH), proposed reinvestment of Medicaid savings associated with the reduction of available inpatient mental health beds at St. James Mercy Hospital. This approved reinvestment reflects collaborative planning between the OMH, DOH, the impacted counties, and local mental health service providers.


“These services will enable New Yorkers to find the help they need, closer to home. The Office of Mental Health is dedicated to ensuring critical access to behavioral health care throughout New York State.  In order to improve this comprehensive continuum of services for individuals with serious mental illness, these counties are expanding their community-based mental health services and enhancing the system of care throughout the region.” said Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan, M.D. - Commissioner, New York State Office of Mental Health.


“Providing New Yorkers with the appropriate community-based behavioral health care services is a priority for the Department of Health.” said Dr. Howard Zucker- Acting Commissioner, New York State Department of Health.  “We are pleased to be reinvesting the savings from the closure of the St. James psychiatric unit in a way that enhances these services. Having access to care right in your community can make a world of difference to the person affected as well as his or her family.”


“Allegany County truly appreciates the infusion of dollars from OMH. Reinvestment has always proven an efficacious method of providing community services that reduce inpatient care. This will assist our providers in ensuring continuation of quality local outpatient services for residents.” said Dr. Robert Anderson- Director of Community Services, Allegany County.


"We are hopeful that this funding, coupled with the collaboration of counties and agencies, will strengthen our community system in order to serve the essential behavioral health services within the least restrictive environment." said Jennifer Rodriguez- Director, Livingston County Department of Public Health.



The New York State Office of Mental Health and the New York State Department of Health are funding the following services in relation to the closure of St. James Mercy Hospital’s Inpatient Psychiatric Unit:


  • Steuben County- $490,000 to develop a multi-faceted approach around enhanced mobile crisis outreach. Supporting services include: enhanced family support, bridger care management, county targeted mental health response and training for local law enforcement.


  • Allegany County- $95,000 to create intensive interventions services. These services include: community-based assessment, development of crisis plans, and frequent face-to-face intervention for adults at high risk of hospitalization.


  • Livingston County- $59,725 to support the start-up of a mental health clinic satellite in an area impacted by the hospital closure, and the planned hiring of a crisis intervention specialist who will partner with other county agencies that serve high-risk populations.


Additionally, all three counties will share $250,000 for the creation of a Tri-County Home Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI) program for youth aged 5 to 21. The HBCI program will provide intensive in-home crisis intervention for families whose children are at risk of inpatient admission within the three county area. 


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