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From left, state Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael F. Hogan, Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health Commissioner Grant Mitchell and Barbara Bernstein, at the Ira Stevens Conference. Photo Credit: Diane Adler

Revising the state’s mental health system

There is a dire need for a collaborative mental health system, says New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan.

At a recent conference cosponsored by The Mental Health Association of Westchester and Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, Hogan called the current environment a “tumultuous period of change.”

Managed care will drive the need for providers of mental health services to work closely with physical health providers in order to operate efficiently, he said.

More than 300 service providers, policymakers, advocates and individuals receiving mental-health services attended the Ira Stevens Conference at the County Center in White Plains May 26.

Among the day’s workshop session highlights were out-patient alternatives to hospitalization and ways to overcome barriers to recovery.

 

Mt. Kisco brownfield under review

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing a draft work plan for the redevelopment of the former location of the Crème de la Crème Bakery at 6 Morgan Drive in Mount Kisco, under the state Brownfield Cleanup program.

To date, some 55 contaminated sites located on 340 acres of land throughout the state have been remediated and redeveloped through the program.

Assemblyman Robert Castelli, R-Goldens Bridge, a member of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, deemed the review an appropriate means of evaluating long-term health risks posed by the site.

“I believe the tax credits should be closely linked to the cost of the environmental remediation, but I would be supportive of bonuses for developments which utilize smart-growth principles,” he said, in a statement. “I support enhancements to the … program, including increasing the tax credit program to a meaningful level, as long as the tax credits are tied to the true cost of the remediation efforts.”

 

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