Our Voice

Stepping Up: Recognizing Men Who Show Up, in Places Where We Think They Aren’t

 

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Manny Fiallo Jr.

Far Rockaway lost a giant of the community last year with the death of the incomparable Manny Fiallo Jr. Manny was a larger than life figure who, at the same time, managed to be relatable and approachable, and always had time for you — no matter who “you” were. In a neighborhood that’s seen more than its share of violence, less than its share of opportunity, and was on the verge of losing hope, Manny stood up to change things. He was dedicated to stopping the violence and embracing the potential in every kid. Manny never considered a child — or adult, for that matter — beyond hope, and he showed us he was right.

I’d say his passing left a void in the community, but perhaps the best thing we can say about a leader when he passes is that he leaves not a void, but a legacy. Continue reading

Spade and Bourdain Suicides Reflect How We Perceive Sadness—in Ourselves and Others

By Joseph Scotto, LCSW-R
Vice President, Behavioral Health

I once had a patient who survived the September 11th terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. He was the only one in his office who did. For four hours, his wife couldn’t get in touch with him and believed him to be dead. Both suffered from extreme depression afterward—but both were too ashamed to acknowledge it. How could they be depressed when he, unlike so many they knew, came home? People around them were quick to tell them how they should feel: “You are so lucky,” people would say after hearing of their harrowing experience. Not: “I’m so sorry you went through this.”

I thought of that man and his wife when I heard about the suicide of Kate Spade and then, just a few days later, of Anthony Bourdain. Continue reading

Love, Inside and Out

By Tina Reynolds, MSW
Project Director, A Vision for Tele-Visiting

When we picture families paying tribute to Mom on Mother’s Day, we don’t tend to envision the celebration in a prison. But that scenario is a reality for many American children, and an out-of-reach dream for others. Continue reading

This Women’s History Month, Time’s Up on More than You Think

The author’s grandmother, Eleanor, who grew up without a mom present — and was the author’s biggest influence.

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Women’s History Month is one of those observances that everyone knows about every year, but few people take notice. While that should never be the case, it is especially important that this is not one of those years. Continue reading

Join The Rockaways Community for a Peace March and Summit on February 24

Because Enough Is Enough

The whole nation, it seems, has been in mourning these past few weeks due to gun violence. Here in our own community of the Rockaways, the heartbreak has been intensely personal, as we have lost two 15-year-old boys, Trevor Rhudd and Youssef Soliman, in the past two months to senseless gun violence.

Parents, young people, and community members of all ages are coming together to say enough is enough. Continue reading

Preventing Copycat Suicide in the Wake of Jonghyun’s Death

By Anderson Sungmin Yoon, DSW, LCSW-R, CASAC, RPT-S
Vice President, Integrated and Value-Based Care

On December 18, 27-year-old Korean “K-pop” artist Jonghyun, lead singer of global boy band SHINee, was found unconscious in an apartment in Seoul. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, where he was immediately taken. The cause was suicide.

Like most, it was a tragedy that didn’t need to happen. Continue reading

Northwell Pediatric Residents and The Child Center of NY Collaborate

By Traci Donnelly
Chief Executive Officer

Last Wednesday, pediatric residents of the prestigious Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Northwell Health came to The Child Center’s Corona Head Start location to provide primary medical services, including physical examinations; medical histories; height and weight measurements; vision, hearing, and nutritional screenings; and parental guidance to low-income families. Through our partnership with Northwell, residents will provide this service to our clients once a month for a year at our Corona and Flushing locations, for clients across our programs. This service is absolutely free. Continue reading

Trump’s Opioid Declaration: Spotlighting the Crisis, But Also the Stigma

Trump declares the opioid epidemic a public health emergency

Trump declares the opioid epidemic a public health emergencyBy Elaine Schechtel
Director, Asian Outreach Substance Abuse Program

Drug overdoses, fueled by opioids, are the leading cause of accidental death for working-age Americans, killing more than 64,000 last year, and the rate of deaths continues to increase. So it’s good, and about time, that our president declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency last week. I’m in favor of any move that gets opioid addiction, and substance abuse in general, in the news and on people’s minds. But there were two missed opportunities in the declaration: one, which is rightfully getting a lot of press, is that the announcement did not include any requests for funding; and the other is the way Trump chose to frame the issue of addiction — as a moral failing and weakness of will power, instead of the disease that it is. Continue reading

13 Reasons Why Not

By Renée Riebling

A victim of bullying wants, above all, for the torture to just stop; most victims also would like to see their tormentors pay, or at least understand the agony they caused. Netflix’s hit series 13 Reasons Why, a binge-worthy, suspenseful drama that chronicles the final months of a troubled teen who ends up taking her own life, offers suicide as a satisfying way to achieve both — and a new study indicates it might be having devastating consequences. Continue reading

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