ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — A leader for mental health services in St. Lawrence County received recognition from state officials.
During the final days of Mental Health Awareness Month, the New York State Office of Mental Health announced that it has presented St. Lawrence County Director of Services Jay Ulrich with the annual OMH Commissioner’s Community Care Award.
Ulrich also serves as the director of the St. Lawrence County Mental Health Clinic.
According to the OMH, this award is presented each year in May to recognize achievements of individuals and organizations who have furthered the mission of the Office of Mental Health.
“Jay Ulrich has been great collaborator with OMH,” stated OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “As County Director of Community Services as well as Director of the County Mental Health Clinic, Jay has worked tirelessly to recruit effective staff, study and realign priorities in services delivery, develop strong relationships with service providers in the county and ensure that all St. Lawrence residents have access to mental health services.”
Ulrich has been working in human services for over three decades. His career began in Texas where he worked with troubled youth, at a juvenile facility and with Child Protective Services. He moved to New York after he received his master’s degree.
The Office shared that he worked for Citizens Advocates for 18 years before working for the County.
Currently, as St. Lawrence County Director of Community Services, he assisted the County’s Behavioral Health Clinics to find qualified staff and helped move the organization in a positive, more service-oriented direction.
Ulrich also helped to lay the groundwork for the expansion of telemedicine at the St. Lawrence County Addiction Services Clinic. As a result, the St. Lawrence Clinics were able to transition to remote services in two days when the pandemic struck.
He commented on being recognized statewide.
“In one capacity or another, I have worked collaboratively with the Office of Mental Health for the better part of 15 years,” stated Ulrich. “Over time, I have been privileged to develop endearing professional relationships with the staff at the Central Field Office in Syracuse. Those and other relationships make this award that much more meaningful and appreciated. Thank you, Commissioner Sullivan and your entire staff, for all the support and guidance I have received in my professional journey.”
The 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.