James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

May 04, 2021

New York State Recognizes New York City Organization for Improving Mental Health Outcomes at 8 New York City Schools

Henry Street Settlement's School-Based Mental Health Clinics Honored for Their Culturally Responsive Approach Connecting Families to Mental Health Services

Albany, NY - New York State is honoring the Henry Street Settlement’s School Based Mental Health Clinics, with the 2020 ‘What’s Great in our State’ Community/Organization Award.

The clinics are located in 8 Lower East Side public schools and provide wraparound mental health services for the predominately low-income community. Social workers are on site to address student issues such as behavioral health challenges, grief or food insecurity at home, which can all interfere with learning.

When the pandemic removed children from the physical classroom, the clinic team improvised by setting up telehealth services, advocating for students to get the needed technology for remote learning, adapting therapeutic interventions like play therapy, and connecting families to resources like unemployment benefits, emergency food delivery, job trainings and more.

The team is reflective of the diverse community they serve, strives to be culturally responsive and is committed to antiracist work.

“The Henry Street Settlement’s School Based Mental Health Clinic team shows us ‘What’s Great in Our State’ through its commitment to improving mental health access to the children and families in the Lower East Side,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “This multilingual team is committed to eliminating barriers to treatment and tirelessly prioritizes children’s’ mental wellness. We thank Henry Street Settlement and all our honorees for their hard work and dedication to children’s mental health.”

The clinic team was presented with the award at the annual ‘What’s Great in our State 2021’ event on May 4th held virtually via Zoom. The celebration recognizes the individuals and programs that are successfully advancing the cause of children’s mental health in New York State.

“Henry Street Settlement is honored that our exceptional School-Based Mental Health team has been chosen for recognition by “What’s Great in Our State,” said Henry Street Settlement CEO David Garza. “Addressing students’ psychosocial needs—from behavior challenges to grief to food insecurity at home—is an uncontestable precursor to child development and learning. Providing these services at school is even more critical in the low-income community that the Settlement serves, where mental health care can be hard to access. When the pandemic struck, Henry Street’s dedicated and highly skilled social workers didn’t miss a beat, addressing profound student and family needs, providing uninterrupted telehealth services, and connecting families with emergency resources. We are so pleased to see this essential program honored by the New York State Office of Mental Health.”


What’s Great in Our State’

The ‘What’s Great in Our State’ event was first launched in 2010 and is typically held during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a national movement that raises awareness about the importance of children’s mental health. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was reorganized as a virtual celebration.

The event is sponsored by six New York State agencies and several children’s mental health advocacy organizations: The Office of Mental Health, the Council on Children and Families, the Department of Health, the State Education Department, the Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, Early Care & Learning Council, Families Together in New York State, Inc., Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc., National Alliance on Mental Illness - New York State, New York State Network for Youth Success, Prevent Child Abuse New York, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., and the Suicide Prevention Center of New York.


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