Together, we’re supporting
mental health and recovery
on Long Island

#HopeStartsHere tells our
stories of healing and recovery

Today, 1 in 5 people on Long Island — that’s 451,000 people — struggle with anxiety, depression, addiction and more. We’re launching the #HopeStartsHere campaign to save lives and support every person who’s struggling with the information, resources and hope they need to find the healing and recovery they need to thrive.

Watch Video Stories

Crystal Oertle

Drug & Addiction Counselor

“The first time I ever used, I was 12 years old and that lasted 23 years until I walked through the doors of a treatment center where I now work. If someone had come to me 10 years ago and said, you’re going to be sharing a message of hope with thousands of people, I would have said, you have the wrong girl. This girl plans on dying from a drug overdose.”

Chuck Nice

Comedian, TV Personality

“As someone who has struggled with my own mental health issues, the question I had to ask myself was, why am I trying to handle this on my own? Right now help is available to you. And not just help — hope!”

Lala Kent

TV Personality and Mental Health Advocate

“I have been sober for almost four years… I have days that are a struggle, but because I’ve gotten help, those days are absolutely manageable. I have the tools to know that those days aren’t going to last forever. Reach out. Get help.” 

Julie Heldman

Former Tennis Pro, Olympic Champion, Mental Health Advocate

“I’ve struggled with bipolar disorder for my entire adult life during and after the years I competed at the top level of the women’s professional tennis tour. I reached number five in the world with Olympic medals even though bipolar disorder caused me to be stricken with severe depression.”

Michael Dash

Advocate, Coach and Author of Chasing the High

“Today, 1 in 5 people on Long Island struggle with anxiety, depression, addiction and more. As someone who’s struggled with addiction and depression myself, I know how much it means to get help. And I still struggle from time to time, especially when I feel isolated. But as I found help I found practices to incorporate into my life.”

Paulina Pinsky

Writer and Educator

As someone who has struggled with depression, anxiety and addiction plus an eating disorder I know how much it means to get help. I still struggle when I’m hungry, tired and don’t know how to solve my problems.”


Susan Larkin

Certified Coach

“I knew I was drinking too much but I couldn’t let go. I tried making rules only to break them. I didn’t think it was possible to be completely free of the desire for wine but I am completely free. You don’t have to hit rock bottom. All you need to do is ask yourself, is alcohol taking more than it’s giving.”

Iris Davis

Mental & Physical Health Advocate

“I did not start out being a champion. I had a very poor, traumatic childhood. I lost my husband and my first child. I was suffering from severe depression and wanted to commit suicide. One day I woke up and said, ‘I have to get off this couch.’ I started walking just to save my own life and joined a gym.”

AJ Mendez

Mental Health Advocate, Author, Scriptwriter, and Producer

“As someone living with bipolar disorder, I know firsthand how invaluable a safe support system can be to a mental health journey, and I know firsthand that it is never too late to start healing… Being brave enough to ask for help and seek treatment is the first step to becoming your very own superhero.”

Craig Conant

“I started stealing swigs of hard alcohol and beer when I was five or six. I started smoking weed at 12 and then drinking for real in high school. I started doing pills and cocaine… I loved it all. It was bad. I kept getting arrested. I wanted to get sober. I didn’t know how. I started going to AA meetings… It saved my life for sure… If I can do it, you can do it.”

Ricky Byrd

Recovery Advocate, Guitarist and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

“One of the first things I learned was that I had to chase my recovery with the same commitment and dedication that I chased the demons that were taking me down. That’s probably the secret to my 35 years in recovery. Remember, we can and do recover.”

Stephanie Mason

Professional Wrestler & Mental Health Advocate

“As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I know how challenging it can be to find a safe support system. But, it’s never too late to start healing. Being brave enough to ask for help and to get treatment is the first step to becoming your very own superhero.”


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    Get Support

    Wherever you are on your mental health or recovery journey, today is a good day to take the next step because #HopeStartsHere. Here are two ways to get support today:

    Rebuild Relationships with Project FORWARD

    Whether you need to repair your relationships, navigate a hard conversation, or strengthen your relationships, Project FORWARD’s free programming can help. Together with expert group leaders and mental health experts, you’ll explore the attitudes, qualities, and skills you need to support healthy communication, enduring relationships, and positive parenting skills.

    We address all relationships, personal and professional, supportively. Together we work to create a brighter future for the individuals we serve. Through free, skill-building workshops, participants in our programs explore relationships, communication, and parenting and also receive individualized coaching to help support their goals, along with optional financial and employment stability support services.

    Learn more

    Addiction Recovery with Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

    If you need support today — call us. Our mobile recovery teams, in-person support and telehealth services are ready to help.

    • Mobile Recovery Unit. Our mobile recovery team is made up of outreach coordinators, peer recovery specialists, case managers, social workers, registered nurses, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists ready to help.
    • Telehealth and In-Person: Our psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychiatrists can prescribe MAT medications as clinically appropriate for you. All of our team members are trained in overdose prevention and Naloxone, and provide education and training plus Naloxone kits to our patients, their families and the Long Island community.

    MAT takes a whole-patient approach to addiction and substance use disorders by using FDA approved prescribed medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. The MAT medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.

    CN Guidance & Counseling Services empowers healing and recovery for people living with mental health and substance use conditions through innovative, person-centered, integrated clinical treatment, counseling, housing, and support services. Founded in 1972, CN Guidance & Counseling Services is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering people struggling with mental health and substance use conditions to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

    Each year, an estimated 1 in 5, or 451,000, Long Island residents struggle from a mental health or substance use disorder. Many suffer in silence because they can’t ask for help, especially those who need it the most. CN Guidance partners with friends, families and neighbors to raise their voice for those who struggle and to provide holistic, whole-person care that is local, caring and effective.