Merging and Strengthening New York’s Behavioral Health Membership Coalitions
Special Projects Fund
December 12, 2022
Behavioral health is an umbrella term that encompasses issues related to mental health and illness, substance use disorders, and support for recovery from these conditions.
The number of people who experience a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder at the same time, or co-occurring disorders, is high, but less than 10% of Americans with a co-occurring disorder get treatment for both of their conditions. Mental health and substance use providers are stepping up to the challenge of integrating care for both conditions, but the environment is challenging. Providers are operating on thin margins; public spending on behavioral health care in New York State is insufficient, and underfunding has contributed to racial health disparities. The Coalition for Behavioral Health (CBH) and the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAP) are the two leading membership associations for mental health and substance use providers in the State. CBH and ASAP have agreed to merge operations to create a combined association that represents 250 agencies statewide and fosters integrated care delivery. In 2022, NYHealth awarded CBH a grant to support this merger.
Under this grant, CBH and ASAP will operationalize the planned merger. The combined entity will expand their geographic footprint; amplify their statewide advocacy; provide efficiencies and economies of scale so they can offer more and better technical assistance; facilitate greater investments in workforce development and quality improvement; and bring mental health and substance use disorder providers together to foster integrated care delivery. By the end of 2023, the merger will be fully operationalized and communicated broadly across stakeholders, and CBH and ASAP will begin operating as a combined organization with a newly formed board of directors.