You are here: News Area News Addiction providers defend turf in plan to merge services with mental health
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Search

Elmont Online



Addiction providers defend turf in plan to merge services with mental health

Print

ALBANY -- The state's effort to combine addiction and mental health services has people in the addiction field nervous that they will become the ugly stepsister again.

The state Office for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the Office of Mental Health have been working toward combining treatment services to provide "one-stop shopping" for New Yorkers who suffer from both problems.

The Rev. Peter Young recalls a time when alcohol addiction was a bureau within the mental health department -- and it's not a fond memory.

"We were just a sidebar to their agenda," Young said Thursday at an OASAS hearing on the agency's goals for 2012. Young founded an addiction treatment and residential program in Albany.

"We need to defend our turf," Young said.

Alcohol and substance abuse were moved out of the former Department of Mental Hygiene in 1977, and each became its own separate agency. In 1992, the two merged to form today's OASAS.

OASAS Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez told the audience that it is not her intention for the office to be "subsumed" by OMH.

"A true merger is when you integrate programs at the same level," she said, with each program having equal importance.

Gonzalez-Sanchez, who was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is the former commissioner of human services in Nassau County, where she oversaw the merger of the county's mental health and addiction departments.

Marsha Nadell Penrose, executive director of The Next Step, a residential program for woman recovering from addictions in Albany, said merging has some advantages. Clients may receive more access to services in both areas, and professionals may get more training. But she has concerns.

"The fear is being a stepsister, the poor relation," Penrose said. "When something gets subsumed under and into another agency that much larger, I'm afraid that we won't be special anymore, that we will lose our identity."

Gonzalez-Sanchez said it is too early to say whether the agencies will merge, but efforts to combine their treatment service for residents with co-occurring disorders continue.

Reach Crowley at 454-5348 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Read Full Article
 

Comments are now closed for this entry

Important Links

scotusblog

Elmont Chamber_Logo-JPEG

What's Hot

Polls

Can term limits help minimize the negative effects of partisan redistricting?
 

stop domestic violence 1 rectangle decal

If you know SOMETHING, please
DO something! He or She may never save themselves!

The National Domenstic Violence Hotline warns, "Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224".

Domestic Violence is NOT a private matter, It's a crime against the SOCIETY!


 

open letter-02

Today, we are talking to people about sustainable economic development, because we think it's important to show support for key issues that affect our community - like places in the Elmont for young professionals to live, shop and be entertained; like keeping families closer together and rebuilding the economic and social pillars of the community.

Advertisment

Elmont Youth Soccer Club

elmontcardinals

Latest Comments

  • Local School Boards Host Pep Rally For Minor League Soccer Team … Community Underwhelmed!

    • Alan Smithee 08/18/2015 18:33
      How come you don't talk about Michaelle Solages ...

      Read more...

  • The American Dream

    • Margaret Walker, MSW 02/15/2016 01:50
      I'd like more information regarding the pudding ...

      Read more...

       
    • Ali A Mirza 01/15/2016 18:30
      the reason I asked you the above question is to ...

      Read more...

       
    • Ali A Mirza 01/15/2016 10:11
      Dear Mr. Aubrey Phillips: I hope you would remember ...

      Read more...

       
    • Teresa Imperato 01/15/2016 09:37
      These politicians are throwing us under the bus.

      Read more...


Latest News

Snapshots

Next Week and ...