October 2-8 is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Week. Below is an example of the many Long Islanders our partner agencies in the mental health field are making an impact on every day.
"NG" is a 15-year-old boy referred to United Way of Long Island partner agency Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay (YFCA) by his school social worker at the age of 11. He had been acting out in school, had very few, if any, friends, and was frequently the subject of ridicule by his peers. He reportered that he felt bullied by other children. Upon admission, he exhibited signs and symptoms of depression. he frequently exhibited behavior below his age and his verbal expression and presentation was that of someone much older. The "G" family has been known to the organization in excess of fifteen years, and has recieved counseling and other social services for various and serious issues. NG reported a great deal of arguing and chaos in the home, and that his mother would often castigate and belittle him.
Over the course of treatment, he was received weekly counseling to address his psychiatric issues and learned ways to improve his behaviors and to have appropriate interactions with his peers. The family was engaged in family sessions to address the dysfunctional nature of their interactions.
In addition to the counseling and psychiatric interventions, NG has benefited from the YFCA Summer Experience which provides healthy summer recreational programming as well as day camp scholarships. His family has benefited from emergency services as needed.
Over the last four years, NG and his family have grown to have appropriate, healthy interactions with their peers through varied interventions. His symptoms of depression and isolation have greatly decreased and he appears to be enjoying his high school years.
The mission of YFCA is to provide a wide range of high quality mental health and social services, with privacy and dignity, to children, adults and families in our community.