Family Service League is pleased to announce that after a full year of planning, culminating in a significant grant as part of the New York State Budget, the North Fork Mental Health Initiative has begun in conjunction with the start of the school year. FSL will be working closely with the on-site teams of each school district to coordinate efforts for crisis intervention and other student support services. The multi-district consortium will provide important treatment and therapeutic support for students residing throughout the North Fork of Long Island.
New York State Senator Ken LaValle spearheaded the grant effort along with local lawmakers in an effort to support the needs of students in our schools. “I am very pleased and proud of our work to bring this much needed help to our students, schools, and local communities,” stated NYS Senator LaValle. Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo and Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell joined Senator Lavalle in promoting the legislation that brought the $175,000 grant to school communities. Supervisor Russell echoed Senator LaValle’s comments adding, “The Town of Southold recognizes that our partnership with the schools to support this initiative is beneficial for both the families and community of Southold as a whole.”
School districts also earmarked funds in their current school year budgets to support the initiative. The funds will be utilized to hire additional therapists at FSL. “There is a tremendous recognition among state lawmakers, education officials, and the entire behavioral healthcare field for the need to provide these vital resources and services,” stated Dr. Jeff Steigman, Chief Administrative Officer at Family Service League.
Surveys of school communities taken last September revealed strong support for mental health services. “Nine out of 10 New Yorkers think public schools should provide mental health services for students who do not have access to such services,” according to a poll taken by Phi Delta Kappa International. As of July 2018, the New York State Education Department is mandating that mental health curriculum be taught in schools throughout New York.
“Family Service League is proud to be working with NYS Senator LaValle, Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell, and the North Fork School District Superintends. Their commitment to the wellness of children residing on the North Fork seamlessly supports FSL’s goals of providing quality mental healthcare and educational enrichment opportunities which promote health and well-being. The children and families who benefit from FSL’s programs are often empowered to mobilize their strengths and improve the quality of their lives thanks to this type of funding and support.” – Karen Boorshtein, FSL President & CEO