Over the summer, the Garden City School District formed a partnership with Northwell Health, to help expand its mental health program. It is part of the district’s ongoing focus on the mental health and social emotional wellness of its students.
Janine Villez, Director of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) in the district, was one of the staff members who helped to connect the two parties.
“I’m very excited about this new partnership with Northwell Health, and believe that it will provide the necessary support for students and parents in the Garden City District,” said Villez. “It has been a difficult two years for students and adults alike as far as mental health issues are concerned. By partnering up with Northwell, this allows us to provide additional psychiatric support to those who need it.”
She said that as a result of the partnership, students will have access to the Behavioral Health Clinic in Mineola.
“Any students suffering mental health issues or an ongoing crisis, can access the Clinic through a consultation and all that it has to offer, including psychiatric evaluation and referrals. It also serves as an alternative treatment setting for those who need immediate or same day intervention.”
The collaboration with Northwell will also help to establish other services like parent/community workshops, coordination of staff professional development programs and evaluations for students who are dealing with issues such as anxiety or depression.
Villez said that the district had been considering this potential partnership for some time and that the endeavor was formalized in early July.
“This move was not just the result of the pandemic, but prior to this we were noticing that psychiatric support for students was something that was badly needed within the district,” said Villez.
At the Garden City SchoolBoard meeting on Wednesday, October, 13th, mental health staff members from within the district will discuss the new collaboration with Northwell Health. Representatives from Northwell will also be present at the meeting.
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