The Behavioral Health Task Force report recommends a behavioral health care system that is integrated across five sectors, including Outpatient Treatment, Inpatient Treatment, Crisis Services, Social Supports, and Access to Care
County Executive Pat Ryan says that in his 2022 Executive Budget, scheduled to be released later this week, Ulster County will commit to addressing many of these critical needs
Kingston, NY – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced today that the Behavioral Health Task Force, a group of nearly 30 leaders in the mental health and addiction care community, has released their initial report. The document, based on nearly five months of gathering expert opinions and speaking candidly together and with the public, identifies existing gaps in the mental health and addiction system of care while proposing solutions to support and expand current services. The report comes in advance of the County Executive’s 2022 Executive Budget proposal on September 30th, setting the stage for several mental health and addiction recovery investments.
“I want to thank the Behavioral Health Task Force for their hard work and collaborative efforts in identifying these critical priority areas for investment,” County Executive Pat Ryan said. “Supporting our residents’ mental health and addiction recovery needs remains one of my top priorities. This week, as part of the 2022 Executive Budget, I promise to outline a proactive plan to turn many of these recommendations into reality. We must invest urgently to address the growing mental health and recovery needs of our community.”
“The Ulster County Behavioral Health Task Force engaged in a process of intense examination and analysis of the county’s behavioral health system and identified both gaps and opportunities to provide better services to those in need,” Deputy Commissioner of Mental Health Tara McDonald said. “It was our intention to focus on the challenges of accessing services and to recommend additional pathways in which residents can connect to immediate support.”
“Gathering together with our fellow providers to discuss missing and needed services was critical to improving our system in Ulster County,” Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities Shannon Kelly said. “We all brought a unique perspective to the table. Catholic Charities operates in 3 counties, so we were able to provide context of what is working in surrounding counties and how we could build on existing models. I look forward to continuing this work with the County as they begin to execute the solutions in our plan.”
“As an Ulster County Legislator representing Kingston and through my work on the Public Health & Social Services Committee, I’ve been closely following our behavioral health system and the pressing needs for additional services,” Ulster County Legislator Peter Criswell said. “As we work together on plans to spend Federal American Rescue Plan monies, the significant work done by the Behavioral Health Task Force to identify the most urgent projects to launch, will certainly guide our thinking.”
The Behavioral Health Task Force report recommends a behavioral health care system that is integrated across five sectors, including Outpatient Treatment, Inpatient Treatment, Crisis Services, Social Supports, and Access to Care, which is consistent with national expert recommendations. The Behavioral Health Task Force recommendations include:
- Expand and sustain our behavioral health workforce through rate increases
- Expand access to partial hospitalization
- Create an Intensive Outpatient Program
- Expand access to methadone treatment
- Return and bolster vital inpatient psychiatric treatment
- Offer Medically Supervised Withdrawal services within a rehabilitation setting
- Establish a Crisis Stabilization Center
- Establish a Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)
- Expand Mobile Mental Health
- Support our Behavioral Health Urgent Care
- Build supportive, transitional, and affordable housing
- Support and expand mental health services in schools
- Provide respite housing
Access to Care
- Establish a Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Center
- Integrate mental and physical health treatment
- Provide readily accessible data
- Improve communication, care navigation, and collaboration
View the full report online.
In May, County Executive Ryan announced the formation of the Behavioral Health Task Force to identify priority investment areas in the County’s existing mental health and substance use disorder landscape, and to establish an action plan based on community needs.
On Thursday, September 30th, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan will release his 2022 Executive Budget. In it, he plans to address many of the recommendations of the Ulster County Behavioral Health Task Force.