The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has recognized the work of Dr. Don Kamin as a recipient of the annual OMH Commissioner’s Community Care Awards.
This award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of individuals and organizations who have furthered the OMH mission and made a positive contribution to the mental health system in their communities.
OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan, said, “OMH has many great partners who are critical to the success of our efforts to increase access to community-based services and improve health outcomes for people living with mental illness. Dr. Kamin has been working closely with OMH and has been on the forefront in the development of compassionate and effective Crisis Intervention Teams across the state. His work has helped many people with mental illness or substance use disorders receive the medical treatment they need, rather than being placed in the criminal justice system due to their illnesses.”
Dr. Kamin said, “I am honored to be recognized for the work I’ve accomplished in collaboration with the NYS Office of Mental Health. It’s important to point out, however, that the real credit goes to the communities across the state that have committed themselves to transforming their crisis response systems to be less reliant on police as first responders to individuals in emotional distress. I also want to acknowledge the many law enforcement agencies that have participated in CIT training to ensure that when police are the first responders, they have the skills to safely de-escalate individuals in crisis and refer them to community-based services. This type of system reform is so important, and I appreciate the NYS Senate recognizing the need for supporting this work.”
Dr. Kamin is a clinical psychologist who collaborates with law enforcement, mental health system representatives, and other community partners to address the needs of individuals with mental illness and their family members through system reform and training initiatives. Dr. Kamin also serves as the Senior Advisor on Mental Health and Criminal Justice for the Monroe County Office of Mental Health. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and an adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Roberts Wesleyan College, and on the Board of Directors of CIT International.
As the Director of the Institute for Police, Mental Health and Community Collaboration, he is working closely with the NYS Office of Mental Health to develop Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs across the state. Dr. Kamin also coordinates a telehealth project that connects police intervening with individuals in crisis to mental health professionals via iPads.
A former Police Academy Instructor, Dr. Kamin assisted in the development of the first CIT program in New York in Rochester in 2004.
OMH’s Community Care Awards were created in 2019 to highlight OMH’s partners and stakeholders in local communities across the State that are helping to identify and eliminate gaps in services and are working to build strong community-based behavioral healthcare systems. Input from these local partners helps OMH better understand regional needs and implement programs that will help people on the road to recovery from mental illness live their lives with a greater degree of independence and dignity.