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

May 04, 2021

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

Otsego County Systems of Care Honored for Bridging the Gap between Healthcare and Education

Albany, NY - New York State is honoring the Otsego County System of Care with the 2021 ‘What’s Great in our State’ System of Care Award.

A System of Care (SOC) is a coordinated network of cross-system partners that collaborate using governance or infrastructure to achieve their vision and goals. It values being family-driven, youth-guided, community-based and culturally/linguistically responsive.

Otsego County’s SOC is being recognized for its community-wide effort to improve health and wellbeing with a focus on linking education and mental health care through the Behavioral Health Resource Center. This resource center increases early identification of mental health concerns, increases linkage to services for families and improves those services using Evidence Based Practices. SAMHSA has recently highlighted the work of Otsego County SOC for its significant accomplishments, strong partnerships with schools and cross-system collaboration to serve youth ages birth to 21.

“Otsego County System of Care shows us ‘What’s Great in Our State’ through its partnership with community and school organizations to address gaps in mental health treatment and support children and families,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “This group of professionals is engaged and excited about developing a System of Care that supports mind and body for all families in the community. We thank Otsego SOC and all our honorees for their hard work and commitment to children’s mental health.”

The Otsego County SOC includes youth and family advocates, social workers, child-serving community organizations, and educators who are working together to ensure that every child and family in Otsego County is connected to the resources they need to achieve social, emotional, and academic success.

Otsego County SOC was presented with the award at the annual ‘What’s Great in our State 2021’ event on May 4th held virtually via Zoom. The celebration recognizes the individuals and programs that are successfully advancing the cause of children’s mental health in New York State.

“We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to provide quality behavioral health services, through our Behavioral Health Resource Center (BHRC), bringing clinical services to all youth ages birth to 21, and their families, in Otsego County through the school districts, including ONC BOCES,” said Susan Matt, Director of Community Services for Otsego County. “Our Family and Youth Peer Partners in the Otsego County System of Care provide high-quality peer supports and have developed a collaborative hub of integrated community empowerment services (CHOICES) for families.  Our evaluation team at Bassett Research Institute provides leadership and guidance using evidenced based evaluation and assessment tools to guide our System of Care in best practices and quality outcome measurements to help ensure our success and sustainability of services for youth at risk and their families. Our programs are reaching youth previously unable to access mental health services and provides supports, early intervention, and treatment to help ensure that children can lead healthy and happy lives. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, these services have been invaluable to schools, children, and families! We thank NYS OMH for this recognition and wish to acknowledge the true passion, dedication and leadership of our partners in our System of Care." 


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 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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