County demonstrates mental health initiatives statewide

By Eden Laikin

Nassau County’s mental health officials have been chosen to present Overdose Prevention and Emotional Wellness Workshops to school board members statewide, at the School Board Association’s 95th Annual Convention and Education Expo held in Manhattan from October 26th to October 28th, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced today.

Presenters include a collaboration between members of Nassau’s Department of Human Services, Office of the County Executive and Police Department. The presentations represent part of the County’s three-pronged approach to fighting the deadly Opiate epidemic – Education, Awareness and Enforcement.

The Overdose Prevention Workshop focuses on Narcan training – aimed at friends and family members of those already addicted or those regularly using a bevy of narcotics for painful chronic diseases. Each trainee will learn how to save the life of someone overdosing on Heroin or prescription painkillers, and receive free, the antidote Narcan.

The Emotional Wellness workshop is aimed at middle school students –the age when experts believe most children begin to experiment with substances, or look to substances as a way to “self-medicate” feelings.

National studies indicate at least 20% of middle and high school students have taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. Approximately 4.5 million American children, aged 12 and older, reported abusing prescription drugs; while 1 in 3 teens report having a close friend who abuses RX pain relievers to get high.

A County social worker will accompany a police detective to speak to students about emotional wellness through better judgment, coping and social skills, vocation, peer pressure, mental health, problem-solving, decision-making and life skills

The workshops are part of Nassau’s Behavioral Health Awareness Campaign, launched last year to make people aware of the connection between mental and physical health and substance abuse. According to the BHAC website, the most successful outcome comes from treating all three aspects of an affected person, simultaneously.

County Executive Mangano urged all Nassau school districts to host both a Narcan training for parents and staff, and a workshop on “emotional wellness” for middle school students.

“We are losing nearly one Long Islander each day to a Heroin or prescription pain pill overdose,” County Executive Mangano said. “Yet, we have at our disposal a safe and proven way to prevent overdose deaths if caught early enough. And, we have a state law that allows us to administer the “antidote” during an emergency, without fear of being sued.”

Last year, in Nassau alone, 115 people died from prescription painkiller abuse. Another 44 died from Heroin.

Narcan, administered through a simple nasal spray, has reversed hundreds of overdoses in NYS and thousands across the nation, with no reported ill effect. The kits are paid for by the AIDS Institute of the NYS Health Department.

So far, 7 Nassau school districts have hosted Narcan trainings for their staff and students’ parents – East Rockaway, Bellmore-Merrick, Levittown, Bethpage, Carle Place, Massapequa and Garden City. Several more have scheduled them.

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Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, in conjunction with the Long Island Crisis Center, today launched a new 24 hour a day, seven day a week Mental Health Substance Abuse Helpline, (516) 227-TALK. The launch of this new Mental Health Substance Abuse Helpline coincides with National Red Ribbon Week (October 23-31, 2014) and will better serve residents who struggle with mental illness and substance use disorders.

County Executive Mangano stated, “Nassau County’s new Mental Health Substance Abuse Helpline assists residents with accessing community resources and provides referrals. The helpline is a simple way for callers to discuss their problems, pose questions, and receive guidance on how to deal with challenges related to mental health and substance concerns.”

All calls are confidential. Calls are answered weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. by behavioral health professionals at the Nassau County’s Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services. During all other hours, calls are answered by the Long Island Crisis Center.

Linda Leonard, Executive Director of Long Island Crisis Center, added, “We are very excited to be working with County Executive Mangano on this important initiative to provide continuous 24/7 availability to those with mental health or substance use concerns.”

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Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that TV infomercial expert John Hurley will speak at the October 20th, 2014 meeting of the Nassau County Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club. Mr. Hurley, merchandising coordinator at AllStar Products Group LLC, of Hawthorne, New York, a leading DRTV (direct response television) company, will discuss ways to get inventions sold on television and explain what it takes to get a product labeled with the sticker “As Seen on TV.”

AllStar has a track record of getting new products into successful television campaigns and is the company behind Snuggie, Bendaroos, Topsy Turvy, Perfect Brownie, Perfect Pancake, Pasta Pro, Bumpits, GripGo, Hot Buns, Forever Comfy and more.

“We hope this presentation will assist our residents in turning their ideas into viable business products,” said County Executive Mangano. “Our talented residents are the County’s best resource for future economic growth.”
The Nassau Country Industrial Development Agency and entrepreneur Brian Fried, of Melville, organized the Nassau County Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club early in 2012 and since then its events have attracted more than 2,500 attendees.

The meeting takes place on October 20th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., in the Ceremonial Chambers of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building located at 1550 Franklin Ave. in Mineola. Admission is free.

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Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Freeport Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham today announced that a groundbreaking vision testing program has begun in the Freeport Public School District to provide free state-of-the-art vision screening, entitled SpotVision, to school-aged children. The SpotVision instrument, manufactured by PediaVision, uses state-of-the-art technology to instantly determine vision problems ranging from nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatisms to more serious eye problems such as eye turns, lazy eye or issues surrounding depth perception. If astigmatisms are treated early, before the age of 8 they are reversible.

County Executive Mangano stated, “Statistics indicate that 1 out of 4 children in the nation have undetected vision problems. Early detection and intervention matters and if we can identify vision deficits among young people early, many of these eye problems can be treated and alleviated.”

Freeport school officials participated in a demonstration of the SpotVision system. Afterwards, the district expressed an interest in having Freeport schools become the first vision testing site in Nassau County for the product. The Nassau County Department of Social Services (DSS) is in partnership with the Freeport School District to begin administering the test this fall on a district-wide basis. Testing will start in one Freeport elementary school with each student receiving this state-of-the art eye exam, which takes about 10 seconds to complete. The District will send a letter to parents advising them of the vision results and, where necessary parents will be advised to follow-up with an ophthalmologist.

Superintendent Kuncham stated, “As the first school district to partner with Nassau County in implementing this state-of-the-art vision screening process, we are able to provide early identification of students who have vision issues and notify their parents. In the very first class of 24 students we screened, five children were found to have a vision problem of some kind. Our school nurse who administered the testing was very excited about the instantaneous results and is grateful the students’ vision issues have been identified early. These screenings will contribute to well-being and to the future academic success of our children. We look forward to continuing this partnership enabling us to provide screening on a larger scale.”

Nassau County Commissioner of Health Lawrence Eisenstein stated, “Undetected vision problems in children can lead to very serious results in terms of school achievement and behavior. This program will provide many parents the opportunity to learn if their children have any undetected vision problems so they can arrange for follow-up care with their health providers.”

For further information on the Spot Vision program, contact Ms. Suraya Deonarine at 516 227 7471.

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Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano joins with United States Olympic Coach and current Korean American Businessman Grand Master Yeon Hwan Park in announcing that the 2014 New York Open TaeKwonDo Championships/Korean Cultural Festival will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 9:00 a.m., at Nassau County’s Mitchel Athletic Complex, located at 1 Charles Lindbergh Blvd in Uniondale.

The proceeds of this year’s New York Open TaeKwonDo Championships/Korean Cultural Festival will benefit The Safe Center LI. The Safe Center LI assists in saving and changing the lives of the victims of domestic or dating abuse, child abuse, and rape and sexual assault.

“I am so grateful to Grand Master Y.H. Park for his continuous generosity that helps great causes like The Safe Center LI,” said County Executive Mangano. “I encourage residents to take the opportunity to attend and enjoy the 2014 New York Open TaeKwonDo Championships/Korean Cultural Festival and help support a worthy cause.”

The 2014 New York Open TaeKwonDo Championships/Korean Cultural Festival will consist of competitions in forms, pairs forms, sparring, board breaking, weapons and Team Demo Competition. Highlighting this year’s event will be amazing Korean Cultural performances and a showcase of National Level competitors during our Opening Ceremony. Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada USA, will be making a special appearance. She is a fourth degree black belt in TaeKwonDo, which she began practicing when she was eight years old.

This exciting sports and cultural event will feature seminars prior to and during the festival, which include Korean style food, Korean cultural performances, the Korean Percussion team, a traditional Korean sushi making demonstration, plus much more.

This event is recognized by the World TaeKwonDo Federation and sanctioned by the United States TaeKwonDo Leaders Union. In addition to being supported by Nassau County, the event is sponsored by Flushing Bank, FSB, The Korean Cultural Service of NY, AT Center of New York, Dynamics World, Korea Tourism Organization and Korean Cuisine Globalization Committee of East Coast, USA.

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Mineola, New York – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and District Attorney Kathleen Rice will host a Gun Buy Back event this Saturday, October 11, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Christian Light Baptist Church, located at 620 Park Place in Long Beach.

Asset forfeiture funds from the Nassau County Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office are utilized to fund the Gun Buy Back Program, which is strictly anonymous. Individuals are paid $100 cash for every turned in operable rifle, $200 cash for each turned in operable handgun and $400 cash for each turned in operable assault rifle. Not accepted are: licensed guns, BB Guns, air pistols and replicas. Guns must be transported in the trunk of the car, unloaded and placed in a shoe box, or plastic/paper bag.

“The Gun Buyback Program, using asset forfeiture dollars, has taken nearly 3,500 guns off our streets before they fell into the wrong hands,” said County Executive Mangano. “Community support is critical to the success of this program, and I thank the Christian Light Baptist Church for hosting this effort to take illegal firearms off our streets. By working together, we can continue to ensure that Nassau County remains the safest suburban County in the nation.”

“Every buyback event we hold reinforces our commitment to community-based law enforcement and ridding Nassau County of gun violence,” DA Rice said. “By removing these weapons from our neighborhoods, we eliminate the possibility of them being used in crimes or even accidental shootings in the home. I thank the Christian Light Baptist Church in Long Beach for partnering with Nassau County law enforcement in our fight to make our communities safer.”

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Nassau County’s First Pink Pumpkin Patch to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Mineola, NY – In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano invites residents to attend a Glow of Hope Ceremony on October 8th at 6:00 p.m. A brief program, including stories of hope and survival, will take place along with the official “Pink Illumination “of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building’s dome. Beginning earlier in the day at 4:00p.m., Nassau County’s first Pink Pumpkin Patch will open for business, with 100% of proceeds benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“The Glow of Hope Ceremony serves not only as a tribute to those who have been affected by breast cancer, but also as a reminder for each and every one of us to carry the message of the importance of early detection,” said County Executive Mangano. “Early detection is the key in fighting this disease – not only in October but throughout the entire year.”

County Executive Mangano along with co-sponsors 1 in 9 Hewlett House, South Nassau Communities Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Winthrop University, annually host a Glow of Hope Ceremony to support the ongoing efforts to increase public awareness and the importance of early detection. This event serves not only as a tribute to those who have been affected by breast cancer, but also as a reminder for each and every one of us to carry the message of the importance of early detection.

Nassau County’s Pink Pumpkin Patch will include a sweets and treats sale sponsored by the Chocolate Duck, and an opportunity to join forces with First Company Pink as they raise funds to support lifesaving Breast Cancer Research. All materials and supplies in support of the event have been donated by the Home Depot.

“Visit our Pink Pumpkin Patch and help support lifesaving Breast Cancer Research,” added County Executive Mangano.

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