Concerned about the way the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) is aggressively pursuing involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject? You may want to bring up your concern at one of their events. The below is from the OMH web site and lists meetings you can attend in July.

For the original OMH web page this was taken from go to

Informational Briefings and Public Hearings on Statewide Comprehensive Plan Scheduled

June 11, 2007

Dear Colleague:

Commissioner Hogan and I, in collaboration with the Mental Health Services Council, are pleased to announce the schedule and format for the 2007 regional Statewide Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health Services forums. I encourage you to review the 2007 Update and Interim Report to the 2006–2010 New York Statewide Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health Services prior to these events. The Updatecan be found on the OMH website at:

As has been the case in recent years, there will be interactive discussions and more formal hearings to accomplish two goals. The first will be to provide stakeholders and the public with the opportunity to share their perspectives, priorities and experiences regarding the mental health system. The second will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to submit formal written and verbal testimony for the record.

Accompanying this letter is a schedule listing the dates, times, locations and contact information for these events. This year we will once again utilize a one-day combined format for each event, to minimize travel time and expense for individuals interested in attending both the interactive dialog and the hearing. Should there be any special accommodations that are needed, please let the Field Office contact person know. The content for the briefings and public hearings is as follows:

Discussion with Commissioner Hogan

The Commissioner will provide his perspectives on New York State’s public mental health system and emerging themes and priorities he has been hearing, and have a discussion with you to gain an understanding of your views. Underlying the discussion, the Commissioner would like to keep in focus the following questions:

  • Are services consumer and family centered and consumer and family driven?
  • How do we do better in this regard?

In addition to having discussion take place within the context of the vision and values of the public mental health system, the Commissioner would like to concentrate the discussion in three areas that have been identified by stakeholders as important:

  1. Mental health services for children and families 
    As OMH works on the development of a children’s mental health plan, in line with the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2006 (see Appendix 1), OMH would appreciate hearing about adaptations that may be needed to achieve outcomes desired by children and their families. Recommendations for developing a comprehensive strategic planning process for children and families are being sought. Additionally, Commissioner Hogan would like to learn more about how the implementation of Clinic Plus is proceeding and steps necessary to attain shared goals.
  2. Housing priorities
    The 2007 Update emphasized strengthening housing and supports for persons with serious mental illness. OMH continues to invest very large amounts of resources into expanding housing capacity and assuring the ongoing viability of the existing capacity. Yet, we must face up to reality. There is simply no way that the state of New York is going to build a new home for everyone with a mental illness. Pretending that the impossible will happen blinds us to many things that need to be done. These include:

    • Developing all the currently authorized mental health housing and advocating for more
    • Working to make mainstream affordable housing accessible to people recovering from a mental illness, and advocating for affordable housing
    • Reforming OMH housing programs so they are available when needed for people who need them most, including persons clinically ready to leave State hospitals
    • Making housing a high priority concern of treatment providers, so they support consumers’ needs for decent, safe and affordable housing.
    • Providing support to consumers and families to sustain the housing that they have
    • to provide persons with serious mental illness living in inappropriate settings or experiencing homelessness and desiring new housing opportunities

Fundamental to each of these approaches is the understanding that OMH is committed to supporting changes that will help communities and consumers achieve housing independence. Guiding principles for the Redesign of the Office of Mental Health Housing and Community Support Policies, which were released in mid-May, are attached as Appendix 2.

  1. Coordinated care 
    The Commissioners of Health, Mental Health, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities have been crisscrossing the State to talk with stakeholders about the integration of care across the service systems. OMH is very interested in hearing more about strategies for better integrating care, within the fiscal realities facing New York, which would help people achieve recovery, promote resilience and live, learn, work and participate fully in their communities.

Commissioner Hogan also welcomes the opportunity to discuss other local issues and to obtain a deeper understanding of regional and local needs.

Public Hearings
Formal hearings will also be held and interested individuals are invited to present verbal and written testimony. OMH is particularly interested in obtaining input in the three areas outlined above and in relation to any aspect of planning that persons wish to address.

Individuals wishing to attend the hearings to listen to the verbal testimony are welcome and are not required to pre-register. The public hearing format does not include questions or comments related to testimony presented.

OMH encourages the presentation of testimony and asks individuals interested in presenting testimony verbally to pre-register with the appropriate contact person in each region (see attached). Presenters are also asked to provide two printed copies of their testimony at the hearing. OMH encourages you to consider presenting testimony. If preferred, you may provide just your written testimony at the hearing or send it directly to Keith Simons, Deputy Commissioner/Chief Planning Officer, New York State Office of Mental Health, 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, New York 12229.

We welcome your attendance and participation at the briefings and public hearings.


Keith E. Simons
Deputy Commissioner/Chief Planning Officer


cc:        Michael F. Hogan, PhD

Statewide Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health Services
2007 Informational Briefings and Public Hearings

Date Time Place Field Office Coordinator
7/9/07 Briefing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center
40 Civic Center Plaza
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Shannon McClelland
Hudson River Field Office
Telephone: (845) 454-8229
7/19/07 Briefing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Genesee Community College Conable Technology Building Room T102
One College Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
Judy Dintino
Western New York Field Office
Telephone: (716) 885-4219, Ext. 255
7/20/07 Briefing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Renaissance Syracuse Hotel
701 East Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
Bonnie Pontillo
Central New York Field Office
Telephone: (315) 426-3930
7/30/07 Briefing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Joseph & Roberta Schwarz Theater
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
(Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Curletta McClanhan-Michael
New York City Field Office
Telephone: (212) 330-1651
7/31/07 Briefing
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center*
Rehab Center – 102 Auditorium
998 Crooked Hill Road
West Brentwood, NY 11717
Marie Toussaint
Long Island Field Office
Telephone: (631) 761-2508

*OMH policy precludes using or carrying cellular phones in any area of OMH psychiatric centers accessible to patients.

Should there by any special accommodations (e.g., interpreters) needed, please let the Field Office contact person (listed above) know in advance.

We welcome comments and feedback on these principles and look forward to working with all stakeholders in this ambitious and timely effort. Feedback or suggestions may also be sent to: Robert W. Myers, PhD, Senior Deputy Commissioner, NYS Office of Mental Health, 8thFloor – Adult Services, 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, New York 12229. Email at

Last Modified: 6/15/2007