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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

July 08, 2020

NYS Office of Mental Health Receives Federal Award to Help Local Providers Better Coordinate Services for Children

Coordinated Services Improve Health Outcomes for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbance and their Families

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has been awarded a four-year, $12 million federal grant that will help expand local networks of community-based services and supports and improve health outcomes for children with Serious Emotional Disturbance and their families. The grant, from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will be used to expand OMH’s System of Care infrastructure.

System of Care is a spectrum of effective, community-based services and supports for children and youth with mental health or other challenges and their families. System of Care builds meaningful partnerships with families and youth and organizes children’s services into a coordinated network that addresses the full range of the child’s needs -- physical, behavioral, social, emotional, educational, and developmental.

As a result, children receiving treatment and supports are better able to function successfully at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life. The three core values central to the System of Care framework are: being community-based, family driven/youth guided, and culturally and linguistically competent.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “The System of Care framework has transformed children’s cross-systems services for the better by giving a stronger voice to children, youth and young adults and their families and making them partners in the treatment and recovery process.  This new grant will allow us to expand System of Care and serve an additional 1,650 children with Serious Emotional Disturbance and their families.”

OMH plans to roll out the expansion in two rural counties to better strengthen their coordinated system of care -- Yates County in the Finger Lakes Region and Essex County in the North Country.  Additional counties will be added each year. 

The expansion will utilize High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW), a structured, team-based process that uses a nationally recognized, evidence-based model that promotes self-advocacy by partnering with the youth and their family to create a plan of care.

Partnership with the child and family helps create a plan that is individualized and designed to meet all the needs of the youth and their family, including the family’s cultural and linguistic needs.

The award funding will also help to identify and address barriers to coordinated care in counties across the State. By the end of the grant period, it is anticipated that every county in New York will be in the process of developing, or will have already established, a local System Of Care model.

OMH will provide training and technical assistance to counties, family and youth peers, and partner agencies to help create evidence-based, culturally and linguistically competent, family-driven and youth guided practices within a strengthened, responsive, and sustainable community infrastructure. 

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