Left to right: Dr. Vera Feuer, director of the behavioral health center; Dr. Charles Schleien, executive director and chair of pediatrics; State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin; State Senator Todd Kaminsky; Dr. Bill Johnson, superintendent of Rockville Centre School District; Madison Gamberg, South Side High School student who helped launch the school’s Project SAFE. (Photo: Northwell Health)
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Northwell opens new center for mental health

Northwell Health announced on Monday the opening of a new Long Island facility to fill a gap in mental health care for children and adolescents.

Northwell’s new behavioral health center in Rockville Centre is the result of a collaborative effort between the Cohen Children’s Medical Center and five Nassau County school districts.

According to Northwell, one in five young people are coping with mental health issues and the health system’s president says there simply aren’t enough resources to adequately address the problem.

“There’s a severe shortage of adolescent mental health specialists in the state and around the country, and stigma keeps many families from reaching out for help,” said Northwell President & CEO Michael J. Dowling. “This new center can make an enormous difference by offering urgently needed care in a welcoming, non-intimidating setting.”

A child psychiatrist and a licensed mental health counselor will be available at the center five days a week to provide expedited health assessments, initial treatment plans and assistance with finding ongoing care for patients struggling with behavioral health issues, which can sometimes take weeks to arrange. Students will be referred from the East Rockaway, Freeport, Hewlett-Woodmere, Oceanside and Rockville Centre school districts.

“It is essential for students and families to have access to a high-quality behavioral health center,” said Dr. Ralph Marino, Jr., superintendent of the Hewlett-Woodmere school district. “This collaboration with Northwell provides instant access to care, and that can make a world of difference.”

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