Senator Anthony Palumbo (R,C-New Suffolk), Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I- Sag Harbor) and Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R,C,I-Riverhead) today announced that they secured $175,000 in state funding for the North Fork Mental Health Initiative and $175,000 for the South Fork Behavioral Health Initiative in this year’s State Budget.
The North and South Fork Mental Health Initiatives are important collaborations of area school districts, state and local governments, local hospitals, community organizations and the Family Service League to help address the issue of suicide and mental health challenges for students throughout the East End of Long Island.
“Restoring state funding to the North Fork Mental Health Initiative was one of my top budget priorities this year. Now, more than ever, we need to provide additional resources to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of students who are struggling to manage the additional stress of learning during COVID and the social and emotional challenges caused by the pandemic,” said Senator Palumbo. “I am elated to see this crucial funding restored on the North Fork and continued on the South Fork. It is my hope that this funding will allow us to continue to provide accessible, quality mental health services to those in need.”
“These programs have shown tremendous success in meeting the mental health needs that exist in our communities,” Assemblyman Thiele stated. “The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately compounded the mental health struggles faced by many New Yorkers and has underlined the need for accessible programs to address the mental health consequences of this crisis. I am proud to have once again been able to secure funding to help these programs thrive and continue to assist those in need of these critical services on the East End.”
“Now, more than ever, the mental health and well being of our students must be protected. With the additional stresses and complications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of much needed socialization, and the disruptions to school routines and family lives, I know students need all the support we can provide them,” said Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio. “Restoring funding to the North and South Fork Mental Health Initiatives will allow our schools and social workers to help students survive and thrive in these difficult times. I am glad that our work in Albany will result in students having the services they need here on the East End.”
According to the Legislators, The North Fork Mental Health and the South Fork Behavioral Health Initiatives have been incredible resources, ensuring that students and families find appropriate mental health services close to home. These initiatives continue to provide a direct link to critical and immediate services and evaluations for local school districts who identify a child in crisis.