July 9-10, 2011

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Ulster Health, Mental Health departments headed for formal merger

Hasbrouck (file): "... elevate
mental health and mental
hygiene issues ..."

KINGSTON – A task force considering formally uniting the Ulster County departments of Health and Mental Health has recommended that they become one unit.

The report was presented to the Health and Human Services Committee of the county legislature by Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, who is also serving as acting Mental Health commissioner.

“Most people think of mental health as separate from health and mental health is part of overall health, so this alliance will help us to elevate mental health and mental hygiene issues, developmental disabilities and substance abuse to put in the public health model to help folks understand that it is a part of holistic health and that there not be a stigma around mental health and mental hygiene, but that’s a part of your health as well,” Hasbrouck said.

The idea to merge the two departments came from County Executive Michael Hein. It is expected the county legislature will support the merger.


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