News & Events

Leading Nonprofit One of Only Two Agencies on Long Island Awarded Federal Funding to Help Those on the Front Lines Recognize the Symptoms of Mental Illness

Hicksville, NY (November 1, 2018) – Aiming to help those across Long Island with mental illness get better access to the care they so desperately need, CN Guidance & Counseling Services—a nonprofit which provides outpatient mental health and addiction services – has been awarded federal dollars to provide Mental Health First Aid training to service providers and public servants.

CN Guidance & Counseling Services will use this funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to train hundreds of people, who come into contact with adults and children of Long Island as part of their daily work, in Mental Health First Aid –a proven evidenced-based practice used to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to safely de-escalate a crisis situation involving an individual with a mental illness, and how to identify accessible resources in the community for individuals with a mental illness. Trainees will include school personnel (including teachers), emergency services personnel, primary care medical staff, soup kitchen volunteers, Veterans, and armed service members – including family members. This will result in a more widespread ability of everyday service providers and public servants who can recognize and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness and/or a mental health crisis.

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; and Long Island 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 2,209 consumers 5 years ago to serving almost 7,000 today. Such growth is unprecedented in over 46 years of service.

“This funding enables us to enlist community members in an effort to recognize the signs of mental illness and increase access to mental health care during a time of great need,” said Jeffrey Friedman, CEO of CN Guidance & Counseling Services. “We are very honored to be one of only ten agencies statewide and two on Long Island to receive these critical dollars.”

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.