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Amidst Opioid Epidemic, Leading Nonprofit Awarded $30,000 by Long Island Community Foundation

Hicksville, NY (February 13th, 2019) – Aiming to help stem the tide of opioid deaths, addiction and mental health crises across Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the Long Island Community Foundation awarded a grant to CN Guidance & Counseling Services—a nonprofit which acts as a safety-net by providing outpatient mental health and addiction services.

The Long Island region suffers from disproportionately high rates of serious mental health conditions that result in emergency room usage and/or hospitalization. Among all regions across NY State, Long Island (L.I.) was shown, by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) to have the highest percentages of: (1) ER visits for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and chronic stress and anxiety diagnoses; (2) inpatient admissions for bipolar disorder.  Long Island also experienced nearly 600 recorded opioid-related deaths in 2017 (the most ever), across all income levels. Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol also face untreated co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression and/or anxiety.  In addition, suicide rates in NY State have increased almost 30 percent over the last two decades.   As a result, demand for services is increasing, as CN Guidance & Counseling Services has expanded from serving 2,000 consumers 5 years ago to serving almost 7,000 today. Such growth is unprecedented in over 47 years of service.

The Long Island Community Foundation’s grant to CN Guidance is especially progressive, as it supports technical assistance, system upgrades, and staff training needed as CN Guidance continues its exponential growth in reaching community members.

“We are so grateful to Long Island Community Foundation,” said Jeffrey Friedman, CEO of CN Guidance & Counseling Services. “This funding enables us to further build our capacity during a time of great need in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. By supporting improvements in our ability to deliver quality services—including upgrades to our electronic health record system and our training processes—this grant will literally help thousands of individuals and their families in the next year alone.”

CN Guidance’s unique status as Long Island’s only Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) in the field of behavioral health will begin reversing the epidemic of deadly disorders. CN Guidance delivers mental health services and substance use treatment services-plus integrated primary care screening to our area’s most vulnerable individuals and families. In this way they treat each struggling resident as a whole person (medically, mentally, emotionally, and socially) rather than as a collection of separate symptoms to be seen by specialists in isolation.

“Community Behavioral Health Clinics can transform the delivery of health services for high-need populations,” says David Okorn, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation. “CN Guidance is providing more integrated treatment for clients struggling with co-occurring mental health, addiction, and physical health problems through this robust comprehensive health services program and we are proud to support such a dynamic program.”

About CN Guidance & Counseling Services: Established in 1972, the purpose of CN Guidance & Counseling Services, a nonprofit organization, and the only state Certified Community Behavioral Health Center on Long Island, is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families on Long Island affected by mental health and/or substance use disorders by recognizing and addressing the integration of mental health and physical health. The organization leverages a holistic perspective, driven by its belief in the ability of every individual to recover.

About Long Island Community Foundation: Since 1978, the Long Island Community Foundation has been the home of charitable Long Islanders who share a passion and commitment to improve their communities. LICF supports an array of effective nonprofits that help make Long Island a vital and secure place to live, learn, work, and play, while building permanent resources for the future. The Foundation has made nearly $175 million in grants from hundreds of funds established by individuals, families, and businesses. LICF is a division of The New York Community Trust, one of the country’s oldest and largest community foundations.

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