St. Lawrence County Chemical Dependency awarded $15,000 grant for telepractice equipment
Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 9:10 am

CANTON -- St. Lawrence County clinics located in Canton, Gouverneur, Ogdensburg, and Massena were recently awarded $15,000 from the State Opioid Response (SOR) funds.

The money will be used for the expansion of telepractice capacity and equipment throughout the county to increase access to addiction treatment services in underserved communities.

Community Services applied for these funds pre-pandemic with the intent of expanding remote, on-line services. Community services became a designated telepractice provider in the fall of 2018; within a few months the positive outcomes became evident.

In some cases recipients were more readily engaged when intervention was provided through telepractice as compared to traditional on-site clinic services.

Jay Ulrich, Director of community services said, “our department is engaged on two fronts; while the public health crisis and the resulting stress and anxiety confronts us all, perhaps more so for our community residents struggling with addiction. The opioid epidemic is unrelenting; coupled with the current public health crisis, makes this award synchronous and timely.”

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), through its fiscal agent, the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH), is a recipient of a SOR Grant funding from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) who issued 62 awards statewide, up to $15,000 each, for the purchase of video conferencing equipment and software to deliver two-way real-time interactive addiction treatment services to individuals in the comfort of their homes.

“Telemedicine is an important tool in helping to increase access to addiction treatment services and supports for individuals, families and communities across our state,” said New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez. “This invaluable funding will not only ensure that we are meeting the needs of those we serve, but also further enhance our ability to address the opioid epidemic by removing the barriers of time, distance and location.”

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, when travel is limited, the provision of on-line treatment services has enabled clinical staff to continue supporting people through individual and group treatment modalities.

St. Lawrence County Community Services continues to provide first-time appointments during the COVID -19 pandemic through Telemedicine/Telephonic services for mental health and substance abuse services.

Anyone interested in obtaining addiction treatment services for counseling, peers services, medication assisted treatment, community referrals, and/or access to overdose prevention training may contact St. Lawrence County Chemical Dependency at: 315-386-2189.

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