Staten Island blueprint for tackling mental health crisis among youth is unveiled


STATEN ISLAND, NY — In an effort to address the mental health crisis among youth, a new plan, the first of its kind, has been unveiled to help identify and support Staten Island children and young adults.

Borough President Vito Fossella, government health officials, school leaders and local health care partners unveiled the plan, titled Behavioral Health Plan for Staten Island Children and Young Adults, Thursday during a news conference in the College of Staten Island (CSI) in Willowbrook. Its goal is to support children and young people from pre-kindergarten to age 24.

Fossella noted that the effort began in December 2022, when mental health among youth became a priority. A working group was created to form a plan that would be customized just for Staten Island.

“It’s a community-based, school-based, primary care-focused approach to ensure that all Staten Island children who may be showing signs of behavioral problems or mental illness receive the help they need,” Fossella said. “And that will come between a collaboration with the Department of Education, health care providers, many of you in this room, to ensure that here on Staten Island, with this personalized solution, not a one-size-fits-all, but personalized approach that will work for the children and families of Staten Island.”

The plan aims to support children and young people from pre-kindergarten to age 24. (Staten Island Preview/Annalize Knudson)

The revelation comes as Staten Island youth are experiencing an alarming rise in mental health conditions, particularly depression and suicidal ideation, according to data.

In response to this growing mental health crisis, Fossella and his health team partnered with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and long-established and accredited Staten Island organizations to develop a framework to provide better services and help to young people. with mental and emotional needs.

  Bone Health: 7 Things That Are Harming Your Bones And Why You Must Start Avoiding Them Now
“It’s a community-based, school-based, primary care-focused approach to ensure that all Staten Island children who may be showing signs of behavioral problems or mental illness receive the help they need,” said Borough President Vito Fossella. (Staten Island Preview/Annalize Knudson)

Fossella and its community health partners unveiled this organic blueprint plan that will identify youth suffering from mental and behavioral health conditions, develop systems to support them, and ultimately improve mental and behavioral health outcomes in youth.

It was formed after months of extensive community engagement with educators, school leaders, treatment providers, clergy, parents and youth. The goal of “zero suicides” was selected to guide the work.

That includes:

  • Reduce suicidal ideation
  • Reduce suicide attempts
  • Reduce emergency department visits and hospitalizations for suicidality.
  • Improve the transition to post-hospital care
  • Increase self-management, connectivity and resilience.
  • Reduce anxiety, bullying and depression.
  • Reduce substance abuse and overdoses.
“We will do our best to educate your minds, but we need all of you to make sure we touch your hearts. So behavior and mental health are something that is prioritized in our schools,” said Dr. Marion Wilson, superintendent of Staten Island District 31. (Staten Island Preview/Annalize Knudson)

The Borough President was accompanied by: Staten Island District 31 Superintendent Dr. Marion Wilson, Dr. Ginny Mantello, Director of Health and Wellness for the Borough President’s Office; Dr. Daniel Messina, president and CEO of Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC); Dr. Peter Steen, associate chair of psychology at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH), and representatives from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Wilson said the initiative will serve not only as a model for the rest of New York City, but also for the rest of the country.

“We will do our best to educate your minds, but we need all of you to make sure we touch your hearts. So behavior and mental health are something that is prioritized in our schools,” Wilson said.

Dr. Peter Steen, associate chair of psychiatry at Staten Island University Hospital, speaks during the news conference. Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Staten Island Advance/Annalize Knudson)

Starting in the fall there will be a multi-tiered support system in schools, including: increased training for social workers and school counselors; Adolescent Mental Health and First Aid for 9th and 10th Graders; wellness training for school staff; a mental health literacy pilot for sixth graders through a partnership with Pathways to Empower; a partnership with Talkspace to promote NYC Teenspace and track Staten Island data.

  Nutritional wisdom: Humans can limit food according to calories

Steen highlighted the importance of addressing mental health from a public health perspective, adding, “And that’s what we’re doing here today.”

Dr. Dan Messina, president and CEO of the University of Richmond Medical Center, speaks during the press conference. Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Staten Island Advance/Annalize Knudson)

Messina asked Staten Islanders for help by urging the public to follow the saying, “If you see something, say something,” when it comes to mental health.

“I think we need to get help to expand the reach to these people who are walking, walking next to us, in the subway station, wherever…” he said. “I think it’s something we need to do better in terms of public awareness and education and reaching out to parents in schools.”

Also attending the announcement: representatives of government health agencies; representatives of Staten Island state senators Jessica Scarcella-Spanton and Andrew Lanza; a representative from Richmond District Attorney Michael McMahon’s office; representatives from local hospitals and healthcare providers, and representatives from community health organizations.

“I have been very impressed by the commitment of Staten Island’s many partners in this effort, along with their spirit of collaboration. It is clear to me that Staten Island represents a community that is dedicated to improving the lives of its young people,” said Dr. Nick Ialongo of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Ginny Mantello, director of health and wellness for Borough President Vito Fossella’s office, speaks during the press conference. Thursday, May 30, 2024. (Staten Island Advance/Annalize Knudson)

You can see the plan at www.statenislandusa.com/mentalhealthblueprint.html.

More education stories



Source link

Leave a Comment