Town board wrap: veterans exemptions, emergency drill, teen suicide prevention
By Katharine Schroeder
Sep 26, 2017, 4:27 pm
North Fork Mental Health Initiative
Government liaison officer Denis Noncarrow and Carol Magee, a social worker at East Hampton’s Family Service League, gave an update on the progress of a proposed mental health initiative which would help Southold Town address teen suicide.
Noncarrow invited Magee to talk about a successful program implemented in East Hampton four years ago which facilitates early intervention when a teen is suspected of being suicidal.
“It all began with a spurt of suicides on the South Fork among middle school and high school students and it caused great alarm,” said McGee.
Magee formed a collaborative partnership with schools, hospitals and other agencies to provide services to children who are at imminent risk of suicide. Teens are able to be immediately assessed even without parental permission if they are suspected of being suicidal.
Noncarrow stressed the need for a similar program on the North Fork, pointing out how difficult it is on the East End to help when a crisis arises. By having a program in place right here on the North Fork, crises can be dealt with immediately without the need to travel to Stony Brook, he said.
Noncarrow said they are in the process of securing funding for the program, which he loosely estimated would cost $200,000 a year. Senator Ken LaValle has been a strong supporter of the program and will be requesting funding in his budget. Local schools have been asked to chip in and the town was asked to contribute $10,000.
Councilman Bill Ruland said he was fully supportive of the funding, calling it an investment in our youth.