COMMUNITY FORCES ALIGN TOWARD ASSURING ADEQUATE FUTURE CARE FOR LONG ISLAND RESIDENTS FACING MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

United Way of Long Island provides grant supporting key collaboration

Hicksville, NY (September 16, 2014) – With nearly 13% of Long Island’s population facing chemical dependencies and over 11,000 residents experiencing mental illness, community organizations on Long Island have been joining forces amidst a rapidly changing healthcare economic landscape to plan for and help preserve adequate services to support the recovery and care of such residents long into the future.

A grant from the United Way of Long Island has enabled the region’s nonprofit leader in serving individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues—Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services—to meet systematically with senior advisors at The Center for Nonprofit Leadership, a branch of Adelphi University, to consider the most efficient, cost-effective ways for the Long Island community to offer the highest possible quality of care to these high-need, high-risk individuals in the years ahead.

“Our partnership with our community organizations like Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services is at the core of the work we do at United Way in the areas of Health, Education and Income Stability. We are pleased to provide a resource to assist individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues” said Theresa Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island.
The collaborative strategy, exploration, brainstorming, and planning sessions come at a time that is unprecedented in New York State’s healthcare history: on the eve of an historic move from a “fee for service” system to a “managed care” system. That shift, the exact timing and nuances of which have not yet been finalized, means that nonprofit and other key service providers to the mentally ill and substance-addicted will likely need to figure out new ways of covering the cost of the core services that they have offered with State support for decades. Many services that were previously reimbursed or covered by Medicaid may be reimbursed at lesser rates, in different ways, or, in some cases, perhaps not at all. The large-scale shift in how such services will or will not be reimbursed by Medicaid and by private insurance companies stem from a set of broader changes at the national level (including further implementation of the Affordable Care Act) and at the state level (including changes flowing from the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team).

“At a critical time, the grant from the United Way of Long Island has enabled different minds to focus together on ways that we—as a community—can sustain behavioral health services for those who need it in the future,” said Jeffrey Friedman, Chief Executive Officer of Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services. “By having a proactive dialog that considers multiple scenarios in the face of uncertainty, we—as nonprofit leaders in our area—are hoping to find viable avenues to assure that each person who needs help in the future receives it.”

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership within Adelphi University’s School of Social Work promotes enhanced leadership across the nonprofit community by providing resources responsive to the needs of the not-for-profit sector. The Center offers programs and services for executive directors and boards of directors—especially in underserved communities. The United Way of Long Island, part of a worldwide network spanning 41 countries and territories (including 1,200 local chapters in the U.S.), is known locally for its work in promoting education, health, and financial stability for the people living in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Its various flavors of grant-making have helped make many region-wide planning conversations and program implementations possible.

About Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services, Inc.

Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services is one of the region’s leading mental health, behavioral, and addiction-related service providers. Established in 1972, the mission of this nonprofit organization is to provide clinical treatment, housing opportunities, social and support services, counseling, and guidance to individuals, families and the community affected by mental illness, developmental disabilities, psychological difficulties, addiction and/or dependency problems. In recent years, CN Guidance has been a leader in providing outreach, supports, and counseling to community members during tragic and traumatic events including 9/11 and the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.