Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NYC Voices Accepts Media Award from the Mental Health Association of New York State

NYC Voices Accepts Media Award from the Mental Health Association of New York State
By Sharon Goldberg
NYC Voices has had the great honor of being presented with the 2013 Mental Health Print Media Award by the Mental Health Association of New York State (MHANYS). The award was presented by the nominee, Joseph V. Lemmond, Jr., a mental health consumer, advocate and MHANYS board member to Marvin Spieler, Business Manager and Editor-at-Large of NYC Voices.
Marvin graciously accepted the award with a four minute speech acknowledging our fine publication from its beginnings with founder Ken Steele through today. Marvin stated, “We are a mental health advocacy publication. We fight the good fight with our inspiring articles on mental health issues, both positive and negative. We show that recovery is possible. We offer hope to all consumers.”
We were in good company. In all, seven awards were presented. Among the recipients was Amanda Greenspan, who recently graduated from Fordham University School of Social Work and received the Edna Aims Scholarship Award. Robert Myers, PhD, Senior Deputy Commissioner of New York State's Office of Mental Health received an award for his dedication to mental health. Kimberly Williams of the Mental Health Association of New York City rightly received the Staff Leadership Award for her dedication to helping people with mental illnesses. We congratulate all of the award recipients from the Mental Health Association in NYS.
The event was well received by over one hundred guests at the Marriott Albany Hotel.
The award itself is a replica of the Mental Health Association's bell. The bell was formed from the discarded chains and shackles of ex-patients from asylums across the country when these devices were used to bind the wrists and ankles of persons with mental illnesses. The inscription on the bell reads, “Cast from shackles which bind them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness.”
Marvin Spieler and I attended the conference the next morning. The theme of the conference was “Fitting The Pieces Together.”
Big changes are on the horizon in the delivery of behavioral health services in New York State. In particular, managed care will play a key role. A newly formed New York State Justice Center will be instrumental in seeing that people with special needs (in this case mentally ill) are protected from abuse, neglect and mistreatment. There will be a move away from hospitalizations to community-based services for the mentally ill. 
The most significant changes will be for the integration of physical health and mental health services. We will move away from an exclusive medical model known as the qualified plan to a health and recovery plan known as HARP. Health Homes are being established to integrate physical health and mental health. This will change the continuity of care for home and community-based services. We will switch from a care model plan to a self directed patient care plan. There will be New York State care management for high need patients with both physical and mental health concerns. 

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