News – On The Front Line

Immediately after the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings in Newtown, Conn., mental health experts offered tips to speechless parents about how to soothe their children ["Report: Sandy Hook killer enabled," News, Nov. 22]. The advice sounded like this: Be available emotionally, be compassionate, limit media exposure, reassure safety, offer distractions to prevent obsessive worry, monitor for angry outbursts and depression and, if symptoms persist, seek professional help. I imagine many parents were...

New York Nonprofit Press By Andrew Malekoff, Executive Director Recently, I participated in a New York State Office of Mental Health Clinic Vital Access Provider (VAP) webinar. The webinar is a first step towards Article 31 mental health clinics applying for funding to preserve long term critical access to community-based mental health services. A total of $60 million in funding, over a three year period, is available. The intention of the VAP funding...

Friday, November 14, 2014 “Five years ago, a 12-year-old Latina girl committed suicide in her family’s garage in the town of Westbury, NY, a diverse suburb on Long Island that has pockets of poverty and has seen an influx of immigration from Central and South American countries in the last few decades. The town – adjacent to Old Westbury, which was cited by Forbes magazine as the 10th most expensive zip...

Reading Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s essay, "The boundaries of immigrant identity" [Opinion, Aug. 17], brings to mind the emotional impact, on young people, of the never-ending stream of events with racial and ethnic overtones -- for example, war, terrorism, bias crimes and racially charged jury trials. One can only hope, as a new school year approaches, that along with a focus on standardized testing, educators find time to encourage discussion about ethnic...

Robin Williams’ suicide has become a prelude to a brief and intense opening in our collective consciousness about the torment of depression and addiction. As this moment in time dissipates, and it will, please know that these are the issues that North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center addresses each and every day, year-round. The number of emergency calls to the Guidance Center, many involving depression, addiction and suicidal intent...

NEWSDAY - July 21, 2014 by ANDREW MALEKOFF New York State has launched a three-year plan it says will transform the public mental health system. It intends to shift emphasis from costly long-term inpatient treatment to a community-based network of "regional centers of excellence." The fact is that only children from families with Medicaid insurance fit into the plan, which hardly suggests excellence. Here are the facts: 75 percent of serious mental...

May 21, 2014 was declared a Day of Special Recognition through the Town of North Hempstead for North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center. [caption id="attachment_16139" align="aligncenter" width="651"] Regina Barros, Victoria Domingo, Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Bruce Kaufstein, Town of North Hempstead Councilman Peter Zuckerman, Andrew Malekoff[/caption]...

For three decades New York State has been systematically marginalizing middle class and working poor families who have children with serious mental health problems. This is a truth that the public is unaware of unless you have a child who is refusing to go to school, cutting herself, paralyzed by anxiety, deeply depressed or suicidal. Because mental illness is stigmatized, the reality of the State’s neglect has been obscured from...