Guidance Center Program Addresses Suicide Prevention

Guidance Center Program Addresses Suicide Prevention

 

Roslyn Heights, NY, October 24, 2022 — Two years ago, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, Long Island’s premiere children’s mental health agency, launched one of its most important programs ever: the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, named in honor of the son of Ellen Feldman and Donald Feldman.

On October 19, 2022, the Guidance Center welcomed the Feldmans, their son Matthew and other guests to its Roslyn Heights headquarters for the unveiling of the Butterfly Wall, which features brass butterfly plaques recognizing donors to this lifesaving initiative.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24, with more teenagers and young adults dying from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and lung disease combined.

With the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, the Guidance Center addresses high-risk cases with a thorough evaluation for suicide risk; multiple weekly sessions of individual, group and family therapy; and a culturally sensitive treatment plan that focuses on safety strategies, healthy coping skills and relapse prevention. Evaluation with a psychiatrist regarding the possible use of medication is also provided, along with in-home treatment and referrals to programs and services that will support parents’ efforts to protect their children.

“Suicide among young people is truly an epidemic,” said Elissa Smilowitz, Director of Emergency, Triage & Suicide Prevention Services at the Guidance Center. “The Feldman’s generous gift has allowed us to make a real difference in the lives of so many young people.”

Ellen Feldman says the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project has been instrumental in the journey her family has been on since the loss of her beloved son.

“Very soon after Doug died, Donald and I knew we wanted to do something that would prevent this tragedy from happening to other families,” she said. “I grew up in this community and raised my children here, so having the Guidance Center as the beneficiary of our donation to help young people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts made perfect sense.”

“I’m so proud of the work being done by the Guidance Center,” she added. “They are truly saving lives, and I can’t imagine a better way to honor our son.”

If you know a young person who may be at risk for suicide, contact the Guidance Center at 516-626-1971. The organization promises to see high-risk cases within 24 to 48 hours. For immediate help in a crisis, call 988, the new suicide hotline. To learn more about supporting the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, contact Lauren McGowan at 516-626-1971, ext. 320.

Photo Caption: Daniel Oliver, Rosemarie Klipper, Rita Castagna, Donald Feldman, Matthew Feldman, Ellen Feldman, Kathy Rivera and Jennifer Rush

About Us:

As the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is dedicated to restoring and strengthening the emotional well-being of children (from birth – age 24) and their families. Our highly trained staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors and other mental health professionals lead the way in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, training, parent education, research and advocacy. The Guidance Center helps children and families address issues such as depression and anxiety; developmental delays; bullying; teen pregnancy; sexual abuse; teen drug and alcohol abuse; and family crises stemming from illness, death, trauma and divorce. For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been a place of hope and healing, providing innovative and compassionate treatment to all who enter our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information about the Guidance Center, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call (516) 626-1971.

National Grid Assists  In Beautification Efforts, Anton Media, October 12-18, 2022

National Grid Assists In Beautification Efforts, Anton Media, October 12-18, 2022

On September 16, 2022, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center welcomed 11 employees from National Grid to its Marks Family Right from the Start 0-3+ Center as part of the utility’s volunteer day of service, called Project C.

The volunteers spent the entire day planting, painting, repairing and whole-heartedly doing whatever needed to be done to spruce up the Nature Nursery at the Right from the Start Center, which had been left largely unattended during the pandemic.

“We are so grateful to all the National Grid volunteers for working so hard and with such great spirits to beautify our Nature Nursery and surrounding areas,” said Dr. Sue Cohen, Director of the Right from the Start Center, where the Guidance Center serves its youngest clients and their families. “The Nancy Marks Nature Nursery continues to provide our young children and their parents with an opportunity to enjoy their natural environment using exploratory, hands-on stations and activities, such as musical instruments, water, paints and graduated steps.  Having a creative outdoor space to use during therapy and group sessions allows our therapists to engage children in a different way. The youngsters who have experienced this area love all that is has to offer and look forward to regularly returning.”

National Grid’s Alexandra Paoli, who was in charge of the project at the Guidance Center site, worked side by side with her mother, Michele Paoli, who has worked at the utility for 25 years. “Thousands of National Grid employees volunteer on this ‘Day of Service,’ which takes place at locations all across Long Island, upstate New York and New York City,” said Alexandra, a recent graduate of Penn State University and Associate Analyst, Community Customer Engagement. “My mother knew about the great work done at the Guidance Center, so when she suggested it be one of the sites of our statewide volunteer initiative, it was a natural choice.”

Therese Sullivan, National Grid’s Director of Operations Enablement, has participated in both Project C Day of Service events. “I was glad to volunteer for the Guidance Center because mental health is so important, especially helping children at an early age,” she said. “It is a great resource for families, and I’m proud that our company supports these efforts.”

If your company would like to discuss opportunities to volunteer at the Guidance Center or support our mission in other ways, contact Lauren McGowan at LMcGowan@northshorechildguidance.org or call her at (516) 626-1971, ext. 320.

Benefit for Children’s Center at Family Court, Anton Media, Oct. 18, 2022

Benefit for Children’s Center at Family Court, Anton Media, Oct. 18, 2022

Roslyn Heights, NY, October 4, 2022 — Family court hearings are often contentious, and they are certainly no place for young ears. Luckily, with the Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court, parents and guardians have a safe place to bring children from infants to 12-year-olds while they are conducting court business.

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, which runs this important program, is holding a fundraiser to support the Children’s Center at Nassau County Court on Thursday, October 27, 2022. The event will be held at Tesoro’s Ristorante, 967 Old Country Road, Westbury, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will feature cocktails, music and a buffet dinner.

“The Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court provides a valuable service because it allows children to be insulated from the stress involved in the horror of family court litigation,” said John M. Zenir, Esq., co-chair of the fundraiser. “Just imagine a six-year-old sitting in a public waiting room outside of a courtroom not knowing what is happening. What fear and dread that child must feel! Instead, he or she can go to the Children’s Center and play with toys, read a book and have a snack while being attended to by qualified professionals.”

According to co-chair Allison Cacace, children can be traumatized if they hear their loved ones arguing in court. “The Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court provides a safe, nurturing environment for children while their parents or other caretakers sort out their legal affairs,” said Cacace, Director of Tobay Day School and owner of Casino One Limousines. “It is extremely important that we raise awareness and funds for this invaluable service that makes a positive impact on children and is also greatly beneficial to those who can’t afford to pay for childcare during court sessions.”

“The mission of the Women’s Bar includes promoting the fair and equal administration of justice,” said Cherice P. Vanderhall Wilson, President of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, which is co-hosting the benefit. “The Children’s Center eliminates childcare as a barrier to justice and provides a resource for those who need it while they seek assistance from one the County’s most important courts.”

Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Director of the Guidance Center’s Leeds Place, said, “The Children’s Center not only provides childcare, but it’s also an early learning environment, and each child leaves with a book to take home. We are so grateful to John, Allison and the Nassau County Women’s Bar

Association for their dedication and support. We hope that all who care about children will join us on October 27th!”

To purchase tickets or sponsorships, email mespichan@northshorechildguidance.org, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call 516-626-1971, ext. 309.

Caption: The Children’s Center provides a safe, nurturing environment for children while their parents are in court.

About Us:

As the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is dedicated to restoring and strengthening the emotional well-being of children (from birth – age 24) and their families. Our highly trained staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors and other mental health professionals lead the way in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, training, parent education, research and advocacy. The Guidance Center helps children and families address issues such as depression and anxiety; developmental delays; bullying; teen pregnancy; sexual abuse; teen drug and alcohol abuse; and family crises stemming from illness, death, trauma and divorce. For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been a place of hope and healing, providing innovative and compassionate treatment to all who enter our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information about the Guidance Center, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call (516) 626-1971.

Ask the Guidance Center Experts: Taking the Scare out of Halloween, September 28, 2022

Ask the Guidance Center Experts: Taking the Scare out of Halloween, September 28, 2022

 

In this monthly column, therapists from North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center answer your questions on issues related to parenting, mental health and children’s well-being. To submit a question, email communications@northshorechildguidance.org.

Question: Now that life has gotten back to some semblance of normal, my kids (ages 4, 9 and 11) are eager to go trick-or-treating this year. I’m thrilled for them, but the problem is that my little one is absolutely terrified of scary costumes.

As much as he wants to enjoy Halloween activities like his big brother and sister, he’s so frightened that I’m not sure we can take him out. He’s even said he doesn’t want to go to school that day. Any suggestions?
–Costume Conundrum

Dear Costume Conundrum: Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays of the year for youngsters. Candy, dressing up, parties at school—what’s not to love?
But your little one isn’t alone in his fear. For children around three to five years of age, and sometimes even older, the ghoulish costumes and yard displays can be overwhelming and very scary. But be assured, that’s a natural part of their development.

Luckily, most preschools and even elementary schools advise parents to avoid the scary kinds of costumes, so the schools themselves are typically safe zones. But once your son heads out to trick-or-treat, he’s likely to confront some frightening sights.
Of course, you know your son, so you’re the best judge of how scared he is likely to be. But as with all parenting issues, preparing ahead of time and anticipating any problems is the wisest strategy. Some tips:

  • Let your son express his fears and reassure him in a calm voice that it’s OK to have those feelings.
  • Play a game where your child scares you, and then laugh about it.
  • Show him costumes online, so he’ll have an idea of what to expect.
  • Do some crafts at home that create ghosts and other Halloween décor. Explain that any scary lawn displays are made of fabric and paint, just like the crafts you made together.
  • Some children don’t like something like a mask covering their faces (even though they’ve had to deal with a different kind of mask for some time), so you might want to avoid costumes with masks.
  • If he is frightened by costume masks on other people, put one on yourself and take it off to show him that you are still there!
  • If your older kids are wearing potentially scary costumes, let your young one watch as they put on their makeup or masks, so he can gradually see how his big brother and sister transformed into the witch or warlock—and that it’s still them under the disguise.
  • Make a visit to your local library and ask the librarian for books that help children see that Halloween is full of pretend things—some scary and lots of them just plain fun! One great choice: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.

If your son loves his costume but when Halloween arrives, his mood changes and he refuses to wear it, try a compromise. Let him bring the costume to school instead of putting it on before he goes, or have him just wear part of the outfit. It’s definitely not something worth having a power struggle over, so if he refuses to wear it, let it go. It’s a perfect case of knowing when to pick your battles.

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, Long Island’s leading children’s mental health agency, is seeing clients both remotely via telehealth platforms and in person, depending on the clients’ needs. To make an appointment, call 516-626-1971 or email intake@northshorechildguidance.org.

Benefit for the Children’s Center at Family Court, Long Island Business News, October 5, 2022

Benefit for the Children’s Center at Family Court, Long Island Business News, October 5, 2022

 

A benefit for the Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court is set for Thursday, Oct. 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Tesoro’s Ristorante in Westbury.

The center serves as a safe place to bring children, from infants to 12 years old, while parents conduct court business, which can often be contentious and even traumatizing for kids.

But the center, which is run by North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, helps kids avoid those kinds of experiences.

“The Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court provides a valuable service because it allows children to be insulated from the stress involved in the horror of family court litigation,” John Zenir, co-chair of the fundraiser said in a statement.

“Just imagine a six-year-old sitting in a public waiting room outside of a courtroom not knowing what is happening,” Zenir added. “What fear and dread that child must feel! Instead, he or she can go to the Children’s Center and play with toys, read a book and have a snack while being attended to by qualified professionals.”

“The Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court provides a safe, nurturing environment for children while their parents or other caretakers sort out their legal affairs,” Allison Cacace, co-chair of the event and director of Tobay Day School and owner of Casino One Limousines. “It is extremely important that we raise awareness and funds for this invaluable service that makes a positive impact on children and is also greatly beneficial to those who can’t afford to pay for childcare during court sessions.”

“The mission of the Women’s Bar includes promoting the fair and equal administration of justice,” said Cherice P. Vanderhall Wilson, President of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, which is co-hosting the benefit. “The Children’s Center eliminates childcare as a barrier to justice and provides a resource for those who need it while they seek assistance from one the County’s most important courts.”

Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, director of the Guidance Center’s Leeds Place, said that the Children’s Center” not only provides childcare, but it’s also an early learning environment, and each child leaves with a book to take home.”

Safe Place for Kids in Court, by Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Anton Media, Oct. 5, 2022

Safe Place for Kids in Court, by Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Anton Media, Oct. 5, 2022

With family court matters such as divorce proceedings and custody cases often very contentious, youngsters can be traumatized if they are in the courtroom. But many parents and guardians don’t have the luxury of leaving their children home.

That’s what makes the Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court, a program of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, so important. At the Children’s Center, kids from 6 weeks to 12 years old are provided with free care in a nurturing and safe environment while adults are busy in court.

The Children’s Center, located at 1200 Old Country Rd #2, Westbury on the first floor of the Family Court building, is not a babysitting service but rather an early learning center.  Every aspect of the Children’s Center promotes learning by which the children can explore new things in a safe, structured and professionally supervised setting.

The Children’s Center provides kids with a safe haven that gives them the opportunity to develop early learning skills through age-appropriate play and activities that are fun and exciting for toddlers and children up to age 12.

Earlier this summer, we were excited to announce that the Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court had reopened after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. During that time, almost all court business was conducted virtually, but with more and more children and families returning to in-person court visits, our Children’s Center is a much-needed community resource.

How can you help? We are seeking volunteers at the Children’s Center. To volunteer, we request that you are:

  • 16 years of age or older
  • Fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Able to work a minimum of four hours per week
  • Comfortable wearing a mask
  • Willing to complete a NY State background check, including fingerprinting
  • Able to lift children when necessary and have good mobility
  • Friendly and nurturing

Volunteering at the Children’s Center is a great way for high schoolers (16 and up) or college students who have an interest in children and education to gain experience. And it’s also a wonderful opportunity for anyone who loves kids to give back and make a difference for the youngsters and families in our community.

Another way to help support the Children’s Center is to attend the fundraiser we are having on October 27th at Tesoro’s Ristorante in Westbury. For ticket information, call 516-626-1971, ext. 309.

Bio: To learn more about volunteering at the Children’s Center, contact Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Director at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center’s Leeds Place and head of the Children’s Center, at 516-997-2926, ext. 229, or email ntaylorwalthrust@northshorechildguidance.org.

Guidance Center Sunset Soiree Raises Quarter Million, September 19, 2022

Guidance Center Sunset Soiree Raises Quarter Million, September 19, 2022

 

As promised, the sunset was a stunner at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center’s Sunset Soirée at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, held on Sept. 8. The event raised nearly a quarter million dollars to support the Guidance Center, Long Island’s premiere nonprofit children’s mental health organization.

The guests were thrilled at the smooth sounds of Grammy-winning saxophonist Kenny G, whose appearance at the Sunset Soirée was a birthday gift to longtime Guidance Center Board Member Andrea Leeds from her husband Michael and the rest of her family, all of whom were in attendance to celebrate the magical evening.
“It was an amazing experience to have our first in-person gala in three years graced by the incredible talents of Kenny G,“ said Andrea Leeds. Andrea and Michael Leeds, along with Nancy and Lew Lane, were proud to serve together as this year‘s co-chairs. “Everyone in the room, from my two young grandsons to the Guidance Center’s longtime supporters, were moved by the smooth, soulful sounds. “I’m so grateful to Kenny G for making the Sunset Soirée a spectacular night that will long be remembered.“

Former Guidance Center client Samantha Sutfin-Gray shared the story of her severe bout with postpartum depression, which impacts one in seven women.

“I can’t even imagine where I would be or how far my suffering would have taken me if I hadn’t sought treatment,“ she told the audience. “The Guidance Center helped me to see that there was a light at the end of a very dark tunnel, and they were with me every step of the way. For that, my family and I are eternally grateful.“
Guidance Center Executive Director/CEO Kathy Rivera told the guests, “In the year I have been at the helm of this wonderful organization, I’ve been so proud of the dedication of our team, from our frontline mental health care staff to our front-desk staff and everyone in between. The reason we have been able to bring hope and healing to the community for nearly 70 years is thanks to them, and to all of you who support our mission.”

Rivera also thanked the night’s emcee, Stacey Sager of Channel 7 Eyewitness News, and the sponsors of the Sunset Soirée: the Leeds Family; Maureen and John Ferrari; the Ike, Molly & Steven Elias Foundation; WABC-TV; Jane and Martin Schwartz; the Jack & Dorothy Kupferberg Foundation; Americana Manhasset; Klipper Family Foundation; Marilyn and Russell Albanese: and Cerity Partners.

National Grid Assists  In Beautification Efforts, Anton Media, October 12-18, 2022

National Grid Helps Beautify North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center Site, September 27, 2022

 

On Sept. 16, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center was thrilled to welcome 11 employees from National Grid to its Marks Family Right from the Start 0-3+ Center as part of the utility’s volunteer day of service, called Project C.

The volunteers spent the entire day planting, painting, repairing and whole-heartedly doing whatever needed to be done to spruce up the Nature Nursery at the Right from the Start Center, which had been left largely unattended during the pandemic.

“We are so grateful to all the National Grid volunteers for working so hard and with such great spirits to beautify our Nature Nursery and surrounding areas,” said Dr. Sue Cohen, director of the Right from the Start Center, where the Guidance Center serves its youngest clients and their families. “The Nancy Marks Nature Nursery continues to provide our young children and their parents with an opportunity to enjoy their natural environment using exploratory, hands-on stations and activities, such as musical instruments, water, paints and graduated steps. Having a creative outdoor space to use during therapy and group sessions allows our therapists to engage children in a different way. The youngsters who have experienced this area love all that is has to offer and look forward to regularly returning.”

National Grid’s Alexandra Paoli, who was in charge of the project at the Guidance Center site, worked side by side with her mother, Michele Paoli, who has worked at the utility for 25 years. “Thousands of National Grid employees volunteer on this ‘Day of Service,’ which takes place at locations all across Long Island, upstate New York and New York City,” said Alexandra, a recent graduate of Penn State University and Associate Analyst, Community Customer Engagement. “My mother knew about the great work done at the Guidance Center, so when she suggested it be one of the sites of our statewide volunteer initiative, it was a natural choice.”

Therese Sullivan, National Grid’s director of operations enablement, has participated in both Project C Day of Service events. “I was glad to volunteer for the Guidance Center because mental health is so important, especially helping children at an early age,” she said. “It is a great resource for families, and I’m proud that our company supports these efforts.”

If your company would like to discuss opportunities to volunteer at the Guidance Center or support our mission in other ways, contact Lauren McGowan at LMcGowan@northshorechildguidance.org or call her at (516) 626-1971, ext. 320.

National Grid Assists  In Beautification Efforts, Anton Media, October 12-18, 2022

National Grid Helps Beautify Guidance Center Site

Volunteers spruce up Nature Nursery at children’s mental health organization

 

Roslyn Heights, NY, September 27, 2022 — On September 16, 2022, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center (the Guidance Center) was thrilled to welcome 11 employees from National Grid to its Marks Family Right from the Start 0-3+ Center as part of the utility’s volunteer day of service, called Project C.

The volunteers spent the entire day planting, painting, repairing and whole-heartedly doing whatever needed to be done to spruce up the Nature Nursery at the Right from the Start Center, which had been left largely unattended during the pandemic.

“We are so grateful to all the National Grid volunteers for working so hard and with such great spirits to beautify our Nature Nursery and surrounding areas,” said Dr. Sue Cohen, Director of the Right from the Start Center, where the Guidance Center serves its youngest clients and their families. “The Nancy Marks Nature Nursery continues to provide our young children and their parents with an opportunity to enjoy their natural environment using exploratory, hands-on stations and activities, such as musical instruments, water, paints and graduated steps. Having a creative outdoor space to use during therapy and group sessions allows our therapists to engage children in a different way. The youngsters who have experienced this area love all that is has to offer and look forward to regularly returning.”

National Grid’s Alexandra Paoli, who was in charge of the project at the Guidance Center site, worked side by side with her mother, Michele Paoli, who has worked at the utility for 25 years. “Thousands of National Grid employees volunteer on this ‘Day of Service,’ which takes place at locations all across Long Island, upstate New York and New York City,” said Alexandra, a recent graduate of Penn State University and Associate Analyst, Community Customer Engagement. “My mother knew about the great work done at the Guidance Center, so when she suggested it be one of the sites of our statewide volunteer initiative, it was a natural choice.”

Therese Sullivan, National Grid’s Director of Operations Enablement, has participated in both Project C Day of Service events. “I was glad to volunteer for the Guidance Center because mental health is so important, especially helping children at an early age,” she said. “It is a great resource for families, and I’m proud that our company supports these efforts.”

If your company would like to discuss opportunities to volunteer at the Guidance Center or support our mission in other ways, contact Lauren McGowan at LMcGowan@northshorechildguidance.org or call her at (516) 626-1971, ext. 320.

Photo: A dedicated group of National Grid employees (pictured here with North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center staff) did an amazing job volunteering at the nonprofit’s Nature Nursery.

About North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center:
As the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is dedicated to restoring and strengthening the emotional well-being of children (from birth – age 24) and their families. Our highly trained staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors and other mental health professionals lead the way in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, training, parent education, research and advocacy. The Guidance Center helps children and families address issues such as depression and anxiety; developmental delays; bullying; teen pregnancy; sexual abuse; teen drug and alcohol abuse; and family crises stemming from illness, death, trauma and divorce. For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been a place of hope and healing, providing innovative and compassionate treatment to all who enter our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information about the Guidance Center, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call (516) 626-1971.

About National Grid: National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York and Massachusetts. National Grid is focused on building a path to a more affordable, reliable clean energy future through our fossil-free vision. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, like us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram

Benefit for the Children’s Center at Family Court, Long Island Business News, October 5, 2022

Benefit for Children’s Center at Family Court

 

Roslyn Heights, NY, October 4, 2022 — Family court hearings are often contentious, and they are certainly no place for young ears. Luckily, with the Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court, parents and guardians have a safe place to bring children from infants to 12-year-olds while they are conducting court business.

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, which runs this important program, is holding a fundraiser to support the Children’s Center at Nassau County Court on Thursday, October 27, 2022. The event will be held at Tesoro’s Ristorante, 967 Old Country Road, Westbury, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will feature cocktails, music and a buffet dinner.

“The Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court provides a valuable service because it allows children to be insulated from the stress involved in the horror of family court litigation,” said John M. Zenir, Esq., co-chair of the fundraiser. “Just imagine a six-year-old sitting in a public waiting room outside of a courtroom not knowing what is happening. What fear and dread that child must feel! Instead, he or she can go to the Children’s Center and play with toys, read a book and have a snack while being attended to by qualified professionals.”

According to co-chair Allison Cacace, children can be traumatized if they hear their loved ones arguing in court. “The Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court provides a safe, nurturing environment for children while their parents or other caretakers sort out their legal affairs,” said Cacace, Director of Tobay Day School and owner of Casino One Limousines. “It is extremely important that we raise awareness and funds for this invaluable service that makes a positive impact on children and is also greatly beneficial to those who can’t afford to pay for childcare during court sessions.”

“The mission of the Women’s Bar includes promoting the fair and equal administration of justice,” said Cherice P. Vanderhall Wilson, President of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, which is co-hosting the benefit. “The Children’s Center eliminates childcare as a barrier to justice and provides a resource for those who need it while they seek assistance from one the County’s most important courts.”

Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Director of the Guidance Center’s Leeds Place, said, “The Children’s Center not only provides childcare, but it’s also an early learning environment, and each child leaves with a book to take home. We are so grateful to John, Allison and the Nassau County Women’s Bar

Association for their dedication and support. We hope that all who care about children will join us on October 27th!”

To purchase tickets or sponsorships, email mespichan@northshorechildguidance.org, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call 516-626-1971, ext. 309.

Photo: The Children’s Center provides a safe, nurturing environment for children while their parents are in court.

About Us:
As the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is dedicated to restoring and strengthening the emotional well-being of children (from birth – age 24) and their families. Our highly trained staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors and other mental health professionals lead the way in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, training, parent education, research and advocacy. The Guidance Center helps children and families address issues such as depression and anxiety; developmental delays; bullying; teen pregnancy; sexual abuse; teen drug and alcohol abuse; and family crises stemming from illness, death, trauma and divorce. For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been a place of hope and healing, providing innovative and compassionate treatment to all who enter our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information about the Guidance Center, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call (516) 626-1971.

Guidance Center Sunset Soiree Raises Quarter Million, September 19, 2022

Guidance Center Sunset Soirée Raises Quarter Million

 

Roslyn Heights, NY, September 19, 2022 — As promised, the sunset was a stunner at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center’s Sunset Soirée at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, held on September 8, 2022. The event raised nearly a quarter million dollars to support the Guidance Center, Long Island’s premiere nonprofit children’s mental health organization.

The guests were thrilled at the smooth sounds of Grammy-winning saxophonist Kenny G, whose appearance at the Sunset Soirée was a birthday gift to longtime Guidance Center Board Member Andrea Leeds from her husband Michael and the rest of her family, all of whom were in attendance to celebrate the magical evening.

It was an amazing experience to have our first in-person gala in three years graced by the incredible talents of Kenny G,“ said Andrea Leeds. Andrea and Michael Leeds, along with Nancy and Lew Lane, were proud to serve together as this year‘s co-chairs. “Everyone in the room, from my two young grandsons to the Guidance Center’s longtime supporters, were moved by the smooth, soulful sounds. “I’m so grateful to Kenny G for making the Sunset Soirée a spectacular night that will long be remembered.“

Former Guidance Center client Samantha Sutfin-Gray shared the story of her severe bout with postpartum depression, which impacts one in seven women.“I can’t even imagine where I would be or how far my suffering would have taken me if I hadn’t sought treatment,“ she told the audience. The Guidance Center helped me to see that there was a light at the end of a very dark tunnel, and they were with me every step of the way. For that, my family and I are eternally grateful.“

Guidance Center Executive Director/CEO Kathy Rivera told the guests, “In the year I have been at the helm of this wonderful organization, I’ve been so proud of the dedication of our team, from our frontline mental health care staff to our front-desk staff and everyone in between. The reason we have been able to bring hope and healing to the community for nearly 70 years is thanks to them, and to all of you who support our mission.”

Rivera also thanked the night’s emcee, Stacey Sager of Channel 7 Eyewitness News, and the sponsors of the Sunset Soirée: the Leeds Family; Maureen and John Ferrari; the Ike, Molly & Steven Elias Foundation; WABC-TV; Jane and Martin Schwartz; the Jack & Dorothy Kupferberg Foundation; Americana Manhasset; Klipper Family Foundation; Marilyn and Russell Albanese: and Cerity Partners.

To learn more about the Guidance Center, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call 516-626-1971.

Photo: L to R: Michael and Andrea Leeds, Kenny G, and Nancy and Lew Lane

About Us:

As the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is dedicated to restoring and strengthening the emotional well-being of children (from birth – age 24) and their families. Our highly trained staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors and other mental health professionals lead the way in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, training, parent education, research and advocacy. The Guidance Center helps children and families address issues such as depression and anxiety; developmental delays; bullying; teen pregnancy; sexual abuse; teen drug and alcohol abuse; and family crises stemming from illness, death, trauma and divorce. For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been a place of hope and healing, providing innovative and compassionate treatment to all who enter our doors, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information about the Guidance Center, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call (516) 626-1971.

Michael Schnepper Joins Guidance Center Board, Long Island Business News, July 29, 2022

Michael Schnepper Joins Guidance Center Board, Long Island Business News, July 29, 2022

 

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, is pleased to announce that Michael Schnepper has joined its Board of Directors.

Schnepper, a Partner in Rivkin Radler’s Commercial Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Insurance Fraud Practice Groups, is a longtime supporter of the Guidance Center’s mission to bring hope and healing to children and families facing mental health challenges. For nearly a decade, Schnepper has served as co-chair of one of the most important of the Guidance Center’s annual fundraising events, the Jonathan Krevat Memorial Golf & Tennis Classic.

“We feel extremely fortunate to have Michael joining us,” said Paul Vitale, President of the Guidance Center’s Board of Directors. “He has been a vital force in making the Krevat Cup a huge success year after year, and he approaches the role with enthusiasm, creativity and a wonderful sense of humor. We have no doubts that he will bring that spirit to his work on our Board.”

“It’s a real privilege to become part of the dynamic team at the Guidance Center,” said Schnepper. “The past few years have been an enormous challenge for the kids and families of Long Island, making the need for compassionate, expert mental health services more important than ever before. I look forward to working with the dedicated Board Members who give so much of their time and devotion to this amazing organization.”

Suicide Prevention for Parents: Know the Signs

Suicide Prevention for Parents: Know the Signs

Published in Newsday, September 12, 2022, Guest Essay By Kathy Rivera

I’ve been a social worker my entire adult life. I grew up in a household and a culture where talking about mental health was not allowed and mental wellbeing was not acknowledged or supported. The stigma was strong, but it only made me more determined to shed light on these issues and let people know it is perfectly normal to seek help.

But five years ago, when my then-15-year-old son came to me and said, “I don’t want to live anymore,” I was in total shock.

Not only was he having suicidal thoughts, he had also begun to formulate a plan—a prime indicator that the danger was real and imminent.

I felt overwhelmed because my child was hurting, and I also felt a deep sense of shame. How did I not see this coming? I had all the clinical knowledge to recognize the signs. It’s not that I didn’t know he had challenges. I just hadn’t realized it had reached a crisis point.

My family’s story is all too common, especially as young people struggle with the trauma caused by the pandemic. Children, teens and young adults have experienced the losses surrounding COVID-19 in deep and potentially long-lasting ways. Studies have reported sharp increases in rates of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicide attempts.

Trauma in children and teens is at an all-time high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a third of high school students said they experienced poor mental health during the pandemic; 44% reported feeling “persistently sad or hopeless.” One in five considered suicide; nearly 10% attempted it.

But the youth mental health crisis pre-dates the pandemic.  In 2018, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among 10-to-24-year-olds, an increase of nearly 60% from 2007. Moreover, suicide rates among 10-to-12-year-olds increased nearly fivefold from 2010 to 2020.

Studies suggest that social media use and cyberbullying in particular contribute to depression, low self-esteem and other mental health issues that influence suicidal behavior, especially in girls. Tragic events such as mass shootings in schools have led to unprecedented levels of anxiety among youth. A lack of timely, affordable mental health care, economic struggles, and the epidemic of drug use also likely play a role.

While the picture seems bleak, there is a lot you can do to keep your child safe. Watch out for common warning signs of suicide, including withdrawing from friends and family, mood swings, engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, increased use of drugs or alcohol, giving away possessions, posting suicidal thoughts on social media, and talking about death and not being around anymore.

We are lucky our son chose to tell us he was suicidal. We immediately sought professional help, and today, though he is not without struggles, he strives to maintain a balance with his mental wellness every day. We keep the lines of communication open, and assure him that we are there for him.

Ask your kids how they are feeling on a regular basis, even if they seem fine. Ask directly if they are having thoughts of suicide. Talking about suicide doesn’t make it more likely that they’ll consider the idea. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Make talking about mental health the same as talking about any illness. We must all play a role in breaking the stigma and helping other children who may be hurting. Compassionate communication can save a life.

This guest essay reflects the views of Kathy Rivera, Executive Director and CEO of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center in Roslyn Heights.

Kathy Rivera

Kathy Rivera, Executive Director/CEO of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center

Kenny G to Perform at Guidance Center Gala, August 12, 2022, Blank Slate Media

Kenny G to Perform at Guidance Center Gala, August 12, 2022, Blank Slate Media

 

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center (the Guidance Center) is thrilled to announce that Grammy-winning musician Kenny G will be the guest performer at the organization’s Sunset Soirée, a fundraiser that will be held on Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the beautiful Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in Port Washington.

Saxophonist Kenny G recorded the best-selling instrumental album of all time in the Diamond-selling, 12-times-Platinum 1992 “Breathless.” His latest release, “New Standards,” his 19th studio album, could well be used to describe his four-decade body of work, a vision of jazz that helped launch both a musical genre and radio format.

“New Standards” continues the musical path that has seen Kenny G sell 75 million albums around the world.

In addition to a live performance by Kenny G, the Sunset Soirée will feature elegant cocktails and dining, beautiful sunset views and fabulous silent auction prizes. All proceeds will benefit the Guidance Center, Long Island’s premiere children’s mental health nonprofit organization.

“After having to postpone our in-person event for the past two years due to the pandemic, we are so excited to be welcoming back our devoted supporters for what promises to be a spectacular evening,” said Kathy Rivera, executive director of the Guidance Center. “For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been committed to providing essential mental health services to the children and families in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. And those services are needed more than ever during these very difficult times, when depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges are at epidemic proportions among our youth.”

The co-chairs for this year’s event are longtime Guidance Center supporters Nancy and Lew Lane and Andrea and Michael Leeds. The Mistress of Ceremonies will be Stacey Sager of Channel 7 Eyewitness News.

All proceeds will benefit the Guidance Center. To learn more about becoming a sponsor or an underwriter or purchasing tickets, please visit www.northshorechildguidance.org/sunsetsoiree, call (516) 626-1971, ext. 309 or email mespichan@northshorechildguidance.org.

Ask the Guidance Center Experts

Ask the Guidance Center Experts

Kindergarten Preparation, Published in Blank Slate Media, August 15, 2022

In this monthly column, therapists from North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center answer your questions on issues related to parenting, mental health and children’s well-being. To submit a question, email communications@northshorechildguidance.org.

Question: We have twins, a girl and boy, and both are entering kindergarten in September. This is a first for our family, and we’re not sure if we are doing enough to prepare them, especially since their pre-school experience was limited due to the pandemic. Any advice?
–Anxious Parents

Dear Anxious Parents: You’re not alone in having concerns about your children adjusting to the new routine of “big kid” school. Even before the pandemic, parents often felt anxiety about the transition to kindergarten, but since many families chose to keep their children home while COVID-19 was in full swing, those worries may be magnified right now.

Since many youngsters have been taught to keep their distance from strangers in order to avoid getting sick, they may be more wary of being with new people. You can help reassure them that you, their teachers and others are working together to keep everyone safe and healthy. While COVID-19 has shown itself to be somewhat unpredictable, we are in a far better place than we were a few years ago with preventative measures and treatment, and that information can be imparted to ease your child’s anxiety.

Starting in a new school can be scary under any circumstances, but there are steps you can take to help. If your school allows it, plan to bring your child to their classroom to meet their teacher before the school year begins. Also take them to see the gym, the playground, cafeteria, library, nurse’s office and other locations. Even if the teacher won’t be available, familiarizing your child with the school and the routine will go far in reducing their fears.

Be careful not to put your own fears onto your child. A lot of parents reflect on their own first-day jitters, and they assume their child feels the same way. While a certain level of school anxiety is entirely normal in children, they are also likely to feel excited, so remember to focus on the positive aspects of school, such as making new friends, having lots of time to play and learning fun new things.

Below are some more suggestions to make the transition as smooth as possible:

  • Some schools help set up late summer playground events for incoming kindergartners. If they do, take advantage of the opportunity for your child to meet some new friends.
  • Talk about what they are going to learn; make a game of “playing school” by introducing some of the activities that go on in a typical school day.
  • Bring them with you when you shop for school supplies. Choosing their own folders, pencils, crayons and the like will make the experience feel special.
  • Get your child on a regular bedtime schedule before school begins so they are accustomed to getting up at the same time they’ll need to awaken for school.
  • Sit together and make a morning game plan—what are some breakfast ideas, which outfits will they want to wear their first week, and how they will be getting to school. If you can, do some practice runs (or walks) to the bus stop, if they’ll be taking one.
  • Teach your child their basic contact information, including the correct spelling of their name, their address and their phone number. Also help them practice writing their own names.
  • Make sure they know how to take their shoes on and off, and also how to zip up their backpacks.

When you give your youngsters a chance to talk about all their emotions and react calmly to whatever they say, it reassures them that everything will be fine. But if your child appears to be highly anxious and expresses reluctance to go to school after the first week or so, consider contacting a mental health professional. The pandemic has impacted children’s emotional well-being in numerous ways, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, Long Island’s leading children’s mental health organization, is seeing clients both remotely via telehealth platforms and in person, depending on the clients’ needs. No one is ever turned away for inability to pay. To make an appointment, call 516-626-1971 or email intake@northshorechildguidance.org.

Kenny G to Perform at Guidance Center Gala, August 12, 2022, Blank Slate Media

Kenny G to perform at North Shore Child & Family Guidance fundraiser Long Island Business News, August 15, 2022

Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist Kenny G is the guest performer at the North Shore Child & Family Guidance fundraiser, which will be held Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in Port Washington.

Kenny G has sold 75 million albums across the world. His works including Breathless, the instrumental album released in 1992. His 19th studio album, New Standards, was released in 2021.

The evening will feature cocktails, dining, water views and auction proceeds, with all proceeds benefitting the Guidance Center, the children’s mental health nonprofit organization that has served Long Island for nearly 70 years.

“After having to postpone our in-person event for the past two years due to the pandemic, we are so excited to be welcoming back our devoted supporters for what promises to be a spectacular evening,” Kathy Rivera, executive director of the Guidance Center, said in a statement.

She added that the center “has been committed to providing essential mental health services to the children and families in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. And those services are needed more than ever during these very difficult times, when depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges are at epidemic proportions among our youth.”

The co-chairs for this year’s event are longtime Guidance Center supporters Nancy and Lew Lane and Andrea and Michael Leeds. The mistress of ceremonies will be Stacey Sager of Channel 7 Eyewitness News.

To learn more about becoming a sponsor or an underwriter or purchasing tickets, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org/sunsetsoiree.

Photo credit: Art Streiber

Kenny G to Perform at Guidance Center Gala, August 12, 2022, Blank Slate Media

Kenny G to Perform at Guidance Center Sunset Soirée

Roslyn Heights, NY, August 12,2022 — North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center (the Guidance Center) is thrilled to announce that Grammy-winning musician Kenny G will be the guest performer at the organization’s Sunset Soirée, a fundraiser that will be held on September 8, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the beautiful Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in Port Washington, N.Y.

Saxophonist Kenny G recorded the best-selling instrumental album of all time in the Diamond-selling, 12-times-Platinum 1992 Breathless. His latest release, New Standards, his 19th studio album, could well be used to describe his four-decade body of work, a vision of jazz that helped launch both a musical genre and radio format.  New Standards continues the musical path that has seen Kenny G sell 75 million albums around the world.

In addition to a live performance by Kenny G, the Sunset Soirée will feature elegant cocktails and dining, beautiful sunset views and fabulous silent auction prizes. All proceeds will benefit the Guidance Center, Long Island’s premiere children’s mental health nonprofit organization.

“After having to postpone our in-person event for the past two years due to the pandemic, we are so excited to be welcoming back our devoted supporters for what promises to be a spectacular evening,” said Kathy Rivera, Executive Director of the Guidance Center. “For nearly 70 years, the Guidance Center has been committed to providing essential mental health services to the children and families in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. And those services are needed more than ever during these very difficult times, when depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges are at epidemic proportions among our youth.”

The co-chairs for this year’s event are longtime Guidance Center supporters Nancy and Lew Lane and Andrea and Michael Leeds. The Mistress of Ceremonies will be Stacey Sager of Channel 7 Eyewitness News.

All proceeds will benefit the Guidance Center. To learn more about becoming a sponsor or an underwriter or purchasing tickets, please visit www.northshorechildguidance.org/sunsetsoiree, call (516) 626-1971, ext. 309 or email mespichan@northshorechildguidance.org.

Photo credit: Art Streiber

Guidance Center’s Innovative Program for Latina Teens

Guidance Center’s Innovative Program for Latina Teens

By Erika Perez-Tobon, Published in Anton Media Newspapers

One of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center’s signature programs is the Latina Girls Project, which was created in response to the alarming rates of depression, school refusal, self-harm, suicidal ideation and attempted suicides by Hispanic teen girls.

More than a decade ago, our team at the Guidance Center noticed an increasingly large number of first-generation Latinas were coming to us with severe depression, self-harming behaviors and suicidal thoughts. Many had stopped attending school, and some had been hospitalized for suicide attempts.

The research backed up what we were seeing at the time: Hispanic teenage girls were significantly more likely than their non-Hispanic peers to suffer from depression, thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts. More recent research, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that 10.5% of Latina adolescents aged 10–24 years in the U.S. attempted suicide in 2016, compared to 7.3% of white female, 5.8% of Latino and 4.6% white male teens.

In response to this crisis, we formed the Latina Girls Project, an innovative program that employs individual, group and family therapy, along with monthly outings and other activities, all designed to tackle issues such as depression, low self-esteem, social anxiety, school refusal, self-harming behaviors or suicidal ideation.

Some of our clients who were born outside the U.S. have witnessed violence in their homelands, and many have experienced complex trauma since a young age. Those who were born in the U.S. are impacted by the generational trauma experienced by their parents and limitations around communicating with their parents.

Regardless of where they were born, a big part of the reason these girls are struggling is because they are pulled in conflicting directions, with their parents wanting them to adhere to the traditional values of their homeland, while the girls seek to integrate into American culture and find acceptance among their peers.

The result: Parents are often extremely overprotective; they won’t allow their daughters to venture out and participate in activities such as sleepovers, dating or trips to the mall. Even if the teens are allowed to go out with their friends, they are required to have a chaperone, such as a parent or brother. In addition, they are often relegated to gender-biased roles, required to cook, clean and take care of their siblings while their brothers are treated, as one girl said, “like princes.”

During bilingual individual, family and group therapy sessions, the girls realize that they can trust their therapists, many of whom also grew up as first-generation Latinas. The therapists teach the girls healthy strategies to deal with stress and depression and effective ways to communicate with their parents.

For their part, the parents become more compassionate about their daughters’ desire to fit in, and they also understand the need to let their teens separate in age-appropriate ways. One of our Latina clients put it this way: “My parents learned that I just wanted them to be there for me and listen. They learned that it doesn’t help to question why I feel the way I do but to accept it and support me.”

In addition to therapy, the program incorporates monthly supervised outings to places such as theaters, museums and other cultural and educational sites. These trips, made possible by the generosity of John and Janet Kornreich, expose the girls to the world in a way that would never have happened if not for this Guidance Center program. The trips serve to boost the teens’ confidence and sense of independence, and the girls also discover that there’s a great big world of opportunity out there for them, which allows them to feel hopeful about their futures. The trips also offer respite to the parents who are relieved to know that their daughters are in safe hands.

As one girl put it, “The Latina Girls Project helped my mother and I communicate and become very close, and the monthly outings showed me a world I never would have seen. I felt that I wanted to be a part of the larger world. The trips gave me the feeling that I could be truly happy in my life.”

Bio: Erika Perez-Tobon, LCSW, who is originally from Venezuela, is the bilingual Clinical Supervisor of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center’s Latina Girls Project, which is located at the agency’s Westbury location.

Michael Schnepper Joins Guidance Center Board, Long Island Business News, July 29, 2022

Guidance Center Names New Board Member, July 6, 2022, Blank Slate Media

 

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, is pleased to announce that Michael Schnepper has joined its board of directors.

Schnepper, a Partner in Rivkin Radler’s Commercial Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Insurance Fraud Practice Groups, is a longtime supporter of the Guidance Center’s mission to bring hope and healing to children and families facing mental health challenges.

For nearly a decade, Schnepper has served as co-chair of one of the most important of the Guidance Center’s annual fundraising events, the Jonathan Krevat Memorial Golf & Tennis Classic.

“We feel extremely fortunate to have Michael joining us,” said Paul Vitale, president of the Guidance Center’s Board of Directors. “He has been a vital force in making the Krevat Cup a huge success year after year, and he approaches the role with enthusiasm, creativity and a wonderful sense of humor. We have no doubts that he will bring that spirit to his work on our Board.”

“It’s a real privilege to become part of the dynamic team at the Guidance Center,” said Schnepper. “The past few years have been an enormous challenge for the kids and families of Long Island, making the need for compassionate, expert mental health services more important than ever before. I look forward to working with the dedicated board members who give so much of their time and devotion to this amazing organization.”

To learn more about how to support the Guidance Center’s work, contact Lauren McGowan at 516-626-1971, ext. 320.

Nassau Nonprofit to Use $3.9 million grant to Target Maternal Mortality, mentions Birth Justice Warriors, our collaboration with Hofstra, June 30. 2022

Nassau Nonprofit to Use $3.9 million grant to Target Maternal Mortality, mentions Birth Justice Warriors, our collaboration with Hofstra, June 30. 2022

 

A Nassau County nonprofit has received a $3.9 million state grant to help underserved women at high risk of maternal mortality in eight Nassau County communities, officials said Thursday.

The five-year grant awarded to the Long Island Federally Qualified Health Center will fund programming for women in Elmont, Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Long Beach, Roosevelt, Uniondale and Westbury — areas with significant populations of at-risk women.

Statistics show African-American women are five times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, said David Nemiroff, president of Long Island FQHC, one of 26 organizations across the state to receive the Perinatal and Infant Community Health Collaborative grant from the state Health Department.

Nemiroff said Long Island FQHC, which has 10 facilities to help low-income, underinsured and uninsured residents, will partner with community groups such as the Women’s Diversity Network and other health care providers in an effort to reach women, educate them about healthy lifestyles and provide better access to health care.

The assistance will continue for at least two years after the woman has given birth.

“We’re excited to finally be able to focus and make a dent in these health care disparities,” Nemiroff said at a news conference with community leaders outside the LI FQHC facility in Roosevelt.

Dr. Tarika James, chief medical officer at Long Island FQHC, said many of the conditions women deal with are treatable and preventable if detected early, such as hemorrhaging in the days after delivery.

“We have to educate providers and clinicians to look for those signs more early in the pregnancy and we have to educate patients about what to look for and what to observe about themselves in order to get the help they need in a more timely way,” James said.

In 2018, 51.2% of women who died of pregnancy-related causes in New York were Black, non-Hispanic, even though only 14.3% of births statewide were to Black women, according to state Health Department data.

Experts have said some of the reasons for this disparity include discrimination, health care providers not paying attention to the concerns of their patients, lack of follow-up care and inadequate patient education about potential complications.

As part of the new program in Nassau County, community health workers will be hired and conduct outreach to find women and assist them with a variety of services, such as access to healthy foods, educating them about the importance of avoiding tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and following up on medical appointments.

James said women also will learn how to advocate for themselves and speak up to doctors if they feel something is wrong.

Martine Hackett, director of public health programs at Hofstra University and co-founder of Birth Justice Warriors, which works to reduce maternal and infant mortality numbers, said some people are surprised to learn Nassau County, viewed as a wealthy suburb, has a serious problem with maternal and infant mortality.

But she pointed out the county is separated and segregated into areas with a lot of resources and residents in good health and others with few resources and residents in poor health.

“Where we live has a strong influence on our health,” Hackett said. “And this is especially true for the most vulnerable in any society — pregnant women and infants.”

The Suffolk County Health Department also received a Perinatal and Infant Community Health Collaboratives grant, to continue services in Babylon and Islip townships and expand into Brookhaven and Riverhead townships this summer.

Photo: David Nemiroff, president of Long Island FQHC, is joined by area health care leaders in Roosevelt on Thursday. Nemiroff said the nonprofit will partner with community groups and other health care providers in an effort to reach women, educate them about healthy lifestyles and provide better access to health care. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Guidance Center Hosts 25th Annual Krevat Cup, June 9, 2022, Blank Slate Media

Guidance Center Hosts 25th Annual Krevat Cup, June 9, 2022, Blank Slate Media

 

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, the preeminent not-for-profit children’s mental health agency on Long Island, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Jonathan Krevat Memorial Golf & Tennis Classic on June 6, at one of Nassau County’s finest courses at the elegant Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Heights.

The event raised $150,000 to support the Guidance Center’s work to bring hope and healing to children and families dealing with mental health or substance use challenges. More than $25,000 in additional funds were raised for the Guidance Center’s Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, another life-saving initiative that launched in September 2020.

This year, the event honored Jeff Krevat, a longtime supporter of the Guidance Center and founder of the Krevat Cup, which is named in honor of his brother.

“The mission of the Guidance Center is more important than ever before, with children and teens suffering from serious mental health challenges,” said Krevat, a former board member. “I am grateful to my friends and family for coming out to honor my brother’s legacy and support an organization that makes a real difference for the kids in our community.”

This year’s guest speaker was Rachel Priest, a mental health professional who was a Guidance Center client in her teen years. She told the audience, “The life-affirming care I received from the Guidance Center saved my life. I was able to accomplish wonderful things over the years both socially and academically” because of the dedication, skills and compassion of her Guidance Center therapists. “Knowing that the care I received over 20 years ago is still available and expanding lets me know that the Guidance Center is still changing lives every day.”

Once again, the co-chairs for this year’s Krevat Cup were Board Members Michael Mondiello, Dan Oliver, Michael Schnepper and Troy Slade. In addition, Dan Donnelly served as the event’s emcee and auctioneer extraordinaire.

“It’s all about the kids,” said Donnelly, a longtime supporter of the Guidance Center, as well as a previous Krevat Cup honoree and a close friend of Jeff Krevat’s. “I consider it a privilege to be here today to help raise money to support the incredible work that truly makes a difference in the lives of children and their families.”

The Guidance Center is grateful to the Krevat Cup’s sponsors: Susan and Jeff Krevat, Americana Manhasset, Aon Reinsurance Solutions, Dan Donnelly, PSEG Long Island, Bahnik Foundation, Susan and Peter Braverman, Klipper Family Foundation, City National Rochdale, The Levine Group Inc., Newmark and Rivkin Radler LLP.

Guidance Center Names New Associate Director, June 13, 2022, Blank Slate Media

Guidance Center Names New Associate Director, June 13, 2022, Blank Slate Media

 

North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center has announced that Jennifer Rush has joined the organization as associate executive director.

Rush will be reporting to Executive Director/CEO Kathy Rivera.

Rush began her career at the Foundation for Childhood Development in New York as a research assistant, where she explored case studies of how systems support children to reach their full potential.

She has a diverse operations background in medical, educational and community-based services, including hospital and substance abuse settings at Northern Berkshire Healthcare and the Brattleboro Retreat.

Most recently, Rush was the Vice President of Residential and Clinical Services at Berkshire County Arc in Pittsfield, Mass., where she oversaw all residential services, including the autism outreach services program and the brain injury services program.

“With more than 28 years of leadership experience in nonprofit, residential and health care settings, Jennifer has extensive experience working with adults, children and families in mental health and substance use,” said Kathy Rivera. “Her impressive level of knowledge, skill and expertise sets the stage for continued growth and expansion of the Guidance Center and will help strengthen our services across the agency.”

“I am excited to have returned to New York to work at the Guidance Center and find ways to further support the agency’s goal of bringing hope and healing to children and families,” said Rush. “I am also eager to support the Guidance Center’s incredibly dedicated employees who provide their clients with compassionate, high-quality services that truly save lives.”

Rush, who holds a B.A. from Barnard College and a Master of Health Care Administration from Seton Hall University, moved from the Berkshires region of Massachusetts to Long Island’s North Shore in May 2022.

“My two college-age children and our golden retriever are all making the transition,” she said, “and in a very short time, we are all already feeling at home.”

To contact Jennifer Rush, email jrush@northshorechildguidance.org or call 516-626-1971, ext. 333.