News – On The Front Line

I’ve been working in the field of children’s mental health for more than 45 years, most of them with the North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, the leading children’s mental health agency on Long Island, where we turn no one away for inability to pay. During the early months of each year, we conduct an informal study in an attempt to understand who is calling us for help and what...

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent state budget included no funding to increase the paltry salaries of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who are on the frontlines working with individuals living with developmental disabilities and mental illness. A DSP’s job is to assist individuals in developing daily living skills that will advance their ability to live independently and become better integrated into their communities or in the least-restrictive environment possible. In order to get an...

Having a baby can be the happiest time in a woman’s life. But for many, new motherhood can also bring risk of an increase in existing depression or the occurrence of new depression. In a recent report on maternal depression and economic mobility released by the Brookings Institution, author Richard V. Reeves states that “about 10 to 20 percent of mothers will be depressed at some time during their lives, and...

By Andrew Malekoff Why do people choose to support certain causes, while others look away? Sometimes it’s personal. A family member dies in hospice where their dignity was preserved in their final days. Other times it’s not as close to home. A television spot features a child with a cleft palette, a shivering dog or a malnourished baby. Certain causes seem easier to sell. For example, the school you attended or a research center...

EDITORIAL - Long Island Herald, published in 23 newspapers across Nassau County   State must do right by mental health patients By Scott Brinton, Editor, Long Island Herald January 24, 2019 Society has long looked down on mental health patients, according to Andrew Malekoff, executive director of the Roslyn Heights-based North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center. So it has been all too easy for insurance companies to treat them as second-class citizens, often paying...

By Andrew Malekoff One hazy mid-August afternoon many years ago, I was cooling off in the ocean off my hometown, Long Beach. Another swimmer grabbed my attention by pointing toward the jetty, the rock formation that helps to protect the shoreline from erosion. When I turned I spotted three children drifting toward the rocks. I swam to them. When I arrived, there were three little girls with their arms wrapped around one another....

By Andrew Malekoff Thanks to a strong advocacy push by a broad array of consumer and provider representatives of behavioral health services, the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Report Act was enacted into law by Governor Cuomo on Dec. 21, 2018, as Chapter 455 of the Laws of 2018. The historic new law is a huge victory for North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center and the broader mental health and...

Andrew Malekoff Executive Director – North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center Did you know that every day more than 290 Americans die from suicide or a drug overdose? With proper treatment, many of these tragedies could be prevented — but despite a law that guarantees coverage, people face enormous roadblocks when they seek care. In 2008, a federal law called the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (or the Parity Act) was...

Most germane in considering the push to legalize recreational marijuana use in New York are the observations of noted neuroscientist Judy Grisel who stated, “The debate around legalization — which often focuses on the history of racist drug laws and their selective enforcement — is astoundingly naive about how the widespread use of pot will affect communities and individuals, particularly teenagers.” During the teenage years, young people are taking steps to...

I was pleased to lend my support for the Mental Health First Aid Training Bill introduced at the Nassau County Legislative meeting of Dec. 17. The bill was developed and introduced by Legislator Siela Bynoe, who invited me to testify in support of the bill. Following is my testimony: “The Mental Health First Aid Training Bill aims to educate designated county employees to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and substance...