Public Hearing Testimony
in preparation for development of the
October 2007 Update to the 2006-2010 Statewide Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health Services
A series of informational briefings and formal public hearings was held across the five Office of Mental Health regions from July 9 to July 31, 2007. Co-hosted by the OMH Field Office Directors, regional representatives of the Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors and members of the Mental Health Services Council, each meeting included two components: the morning informational briefing by Commissioner Michael Hogan and Deputy Commissioner Keith Simons, Chief Planning Officer, and the formal public hearing in the afternoon. The afternoon session provided individuals with the opportunity to read prepared testimony and submit copies of the written testimony for the record. Individuals were also invited to submit written testimony, only, if desired. Overall, a little more than 400 individuals participated in the hearing and briefing process. Of these persons, 102 submitted formal written testimony and remarks.
Dr. Hogan provided an overview of the status of mental health care nationally, drawing from the recent publication of Richard Frank and Sherry Glied titled “Better But Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the United States since 1950.” He also spoke of major mental health initiatives under way in New York and ways we could continue to work together to improve the quality of life for children, adults and families coping with the effects of diagnosable emotional and behavioral disorders. Finally, at each briefing, Commissioner Hogan had a conversation focused on issues and perspectives raised by the people in attendance. A theme underlying the Commissioner’s remarks was the importance of having services that are person- and family-centered and person- and family-driven. Discussion for the most part concentrated in three main areas: mental health services for children and their families, housing priorities, and coordination of care.
Formal hearings were also held. Interested individuals were invited to present verbal and written testimony. OMH was particularly interested in obtaining input in the three areas outlined above and in on any aspect of planning people wished to address. Please note that in some instances identifying information has been omitted from testimony out of respect for the privacy of individuals and families.
Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Office of Planning.