Tag Archives: mental health

Supporter Spotlight: Xun An Chia

Plushie penguins donated to The Child Center of NY

Plush penguins from Singapore find a home in NYC

Thank you, Xun and WT Partnerships, for this special delivery all the way from Singapore!

Brently Winstead, Development Associate at The Child Center of NY, and Xun An Chia of WT Partnership at our Forest Hills office

Plushie penguins donated to The Child Center of NY

At The Child Center of NY, we are fortunate to have generous donors who support our clients with various types of donations. Just last month, Xun An Chia of WT Partnership in Singapore reached out to The Child Center with a unique offer.

WT Partnership had a surplus of penguin plush toys from a charity event, and Xun wanted to find a home for them during a visit to New York. As a mental health advocate, Xun wanted to ensure the donation went to an organization that offers robust and comprehensive mental health services, particularly to children. When he learned about The Child Center and the families we serve, he got in touch with our Development Associate, Brently Winstead, who happily agreed to find homes for nearly 100 penguin plushies with children in our programs. And Xun, penguins in tow, traveled nearly 10,000 miles to place them in our hands.

Xun met with Brently at The Child Center’s headquarters in Forest Hills and, according to Xun, “One of the more thoughtful conversation topics that we had pertained to that of access to resources and help (support services, behavioral health services, etc.) and that sometimes the right to and even knowledge of the existence of such services may not trickle down to those who need it the most, sometimes simply due to the asymmetry of knowledge due to socioeconomic disparities. 

Another topic of conversation, Xun says, was that surprisingly, the plushies were actually quite difficult to give away. Brently was one of the few individuals who responded positively but it all worked out in the end. He continued, “Ultimately, seeing the box and its contents make it way to its intended destination made it all worth it — as was the journey tossing said boxes through various train station gantries from the airport, to carrying them close to a mile from the nearest train station to my place, which was truly an experience by itself.”

Thank you, Xun, for this extraordinarily special delivery all the way from Singapore! Continue reading

The Child Center of NY Recognized for Its Contributions to Mental Health

The Child Center serves as one of the few providers of early childhood mental health services. Strengthening the parent-child bond, as pictured here, is a part of all our ECMH programs.

We are honored to share the news that the New York State’s Office of Mental Health recently awarded The Child Center of NY with the 2020 OMH Community Cares Award for the New York City region.

OMH’s Community Care Awards were created in 2019 to highlight OMH’s partners and stakeholders in local communities across the state that are helping to identify and eliminate gaps in services and are working to build strong community-based behavioral healthcare systems. The award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of organizations who have furthered the OMH mission and made a positive contribution to the mental health system in their communities. Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Bianca Ernest

Bianca Ernest, Certified Medical Biller

Bianca is a key Administration staff member in our behind-the-scenes but incredibly important Billing Department, helping to keep up with claims so that the whole agency can function like a well-oiled machine.

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Staff Spotlight: Diane Valente

Diane Valente, LCSW, Assistant Director of The Child Center of NY’s Woodside Clinic

At The Child Center of NY, we want the children we serve to have the support they need to lead fulfilling lives. That means offering them an array of programs that nurture them wholly, despite any setbacks due to poverty, language barriers, or behavioral health. It means being there for kids whose families or cultures have a hard time accepting them for who they naturally are.

Providing safe and nurturing environments in which children can speak openly with peers about the challenges they face is an important part of who we are, so at our clinics, we try to create opportunities for group therapy as well as individualized counseling. Safe Space groups are often the only method by which young LGBTQ clients can learn to cope with the difficulties they face and develop much-needed resiliency to ensure a brighter future. The Child Center employs experienced, culturally competent behavioral health staff to run these groups and often to work closely with parents of participants to ease their transition from therapy to home life.

We recently spoke with Diane Valente, LCSW, Assistant Director at our Woodside Clinic, who created and manages several support groups there.

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Staff Spotlight: Anderson Sungmin Yoon

Dr. Anderson Sungmin Yoon, DSW, LCSW-R, came to The Child Center of NY in 2003 as a program manager and behavioral health specialist, serving in a variety of capacities — culminating in Dr. Yoon being named the Vice President of Integrated and Value-Based Care last summer. 

Dr. Yoon’s latest project — creating a Family Assessment tool to measure outcomes and connect clients with the full range of services available to them — has been a labor of love, and the accolades for such revolutionary work continue to build. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed Dr. Yoon as a member of The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Substance Abuse Subcommittee and the Municipal Drug Strategy Advisory Council, and in June 2018 Dr. Yoon will join Harvard Medical School’s Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program. Continue reading

When It Comes to Criminal Justice Reform, Why Aren’t We Mentioning Mothers?

With all the recent press surrounding criminal justice issues—including President Obama’s record number of sentence commutations and his substantial piece in Harvard Law Review about the need to replace a policy of ongoing punishment with a policy of second chances—where is the mention of incarcerated mothers? Barriers that prevent women from raising their children from prison and upon their release are having a profound impact on many communities and the nation as a whole; removing them should be at the top of any criminal justice agenda. Yet the issue receives nary a mention. Continue reading

NYC Takes Action on Mental Health Care

clasped-hands-541849_1920We seem to talk about mental health only following a massive tragedy, like the community shootings we’ve all grown too accustomed to seeing—and even then, we only talk about it for a day or so. And doesn’t it seem like you never hear about any changes following the media frenzy about behavioral health needs? Yet for all this silence, around one in five Americans experiences a mental health problem in a given year. That’s a big number—more than 43 million people.

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Multisystemic Therapy: Doing Whatever It Takes to Help Teens

Multisystemic TherapyMultisystemic Therapy (MST) Services, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of criminal behavior, announced the latest “Whatever It Takes” Winners, and we’re proud they recognized the dedication of two Child Center team members, Keecha McKinnon and Mariana Peralta.

Multisystemic therapists support young people ages 12 to 17 who have a long history of arrests by addressing all environmental systems that impact them—their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhood and friends.

Keecha has been a multisystemic therapist with The Child Center for three years. She is known for going out of her way to accommodate and go the extra mile to provide care to teens. Often described by her clients as genuine and extremely nurturing, she has been especially successful at connecting with the male population.
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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: How to Recognize Trauma and How to Help

Domestic violence is one of the most traumatizing events a child can experience, and each year 3.3 million children witness domestic violence assaults. They are domestic violence’s hidden victims. Unable to turn to their parents for help, these children often struggle in silence, alone with their fear and trauma.

Domestic Violence Awareness MonthBut if we are alert to the signs of this trauma in children, we can help ensure their safety and help them recover. The Child Center responded to over 1000 domestic violence cases last year in which children’s safety was threatened. When children live in a domestic violence situation, they are at high risk for both emotional and physical harm, including injury from thrown objects or when a child intervenes to protect the abused parent. Adequate safety planning can keep children safe.

To help identify children who might be suffering from trauma, here are some common behaviors and ways to help.

Newborns and toddlers: Even newborns and toddlers can feel the stress in their environment and have sleep and eating disturbances. Children under five can be fearful or uncertain as they respond to their environment, and they may throw tantrums or mimic the abuser’s behaviors. Nervous habits can also begin around this time, such as thumb sucking or rocking.

How to help: Parents and caregivers can help by helping the child to name his feelings, give all of the empathy and reassurance they can, and keep the children close to their family support system. It’s also important to give children choices so they know that they still have a measure of control over their own lives. Continue reading


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