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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

May 30, 2019

OMH Recognizes Doug Meyer of the Mental Health Association in Essex County for his Service to the Community

Albany, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is honoring Doug Meyer, Director of Services for the Mental Health Association (MHA) in Essex County in Westport, as a recipient of the inaugural OMH Community Care Awards.

These awards are given during May – Mental Health Awareness Month –to recognize the extraordinary achievements of individuals and organizations who have furthered the OMH mission and made a positive contribution to the mental health system in their communities.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan, said, “OMH is fortunate to have many great partners across the State who are helping us reshape state and local mental health systems by enhancing community-based services, improving the delivery of care and health outcomes for consumers. Doug Meyer and the Mental Health Association in Essex County have helped so many vulnerable people and families get the services they need, and we truly appreciate their vision, their values, and the role they play in helping us to fulfill our mission.”

Doug Meyer said, “My job allows me to help people with mental illness on the road to recovery by giving them the personal attention they need to understand recovery is possible.  I love the look on their faces when they realize they get to define recovery.  I am fortunate to have great partners at OMH, as well as the support of my Executive Director, Valerie Ainsworth, and of course a wonderful and dedicated staff providing services in homes and in the community.”

Mr. Meyer was nominated for his work in implementing Adult Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) with a priority focus on the values and core principles of these services. Because of his ability to operationalize the services in an effective and efficient manner while maintaining a person centered, recovery-oriented approach, MHA has not only been successful implementing the services but has also demonstrated the value of HCBS to other organizations. Colleagues have praised Meyer for making himself available to answer questions and provide technical assistance to other organizations. Throughout his work and his interactions with others, he consistently communicates his passion for the recipients and the work he does and has helped to make a small organization from a very rural part of the state a leader in recovery-oriented services. 

The Community Care Awards were created in 2019 to highlight OMH’s partners and stakeholders in local communities across the State that are helping to identify and eliminate gaps in services, and are working to build strong community-based behavioral healthcare systems.  Input from these local partners helps OMH better understand regional needs and implement programs that will help people on the road to recovery from mental illness live their lives with a greater degree of independence and dignity.

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