By Eden Laikin
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, Acting Police Commissioner Thomas C. Krumpter and Human Services Acting Commissioner Dr. James Dolan announced today that the County’s residential crisis center – New Hope in Freeport – will soon be staffed and able to assist those who have just been revived from a heroin overdose or are in eminent danger of overdosing, by providing the necessary medical or psychiatric care.
Nassau’s Department of Human Services was recently awarded $230,864 in annual state funding for New Hope to expand its services, by hiring a licensed fulltime social worker and adding hours to bring a nurse practitioner to full-time there. Emotionally distressed individuals in the community will also be able to be transported to New Hope, as an alternative to costly hospital emergency visits.
New Hope expects to hire other medical staff – including a doctor and psychiatrist – with money designated for them last year by the Nassau District Attorney – which will come out of the DA’s asset-forfeiture funds.
Nassau County Police Officers and Academy Recruits have been specially trained in “Mental Health First Aid” to better identify and assist those with serious mental health concerns. Officers will now be able to refer these individuals to New Hope to address their specific needs. Those identified by police as being in extreme emotional distress, include exhibiting irrational behavior and/or at high risk of overdosing.
County Executive Mangano stated, “Nassau Police Officers are now better equipped to intervene when they encounter persons with serious mental health issues or who are in immediate danger of a fatal overdose. Currently, most of the individuals who have been Naloxone-revived from an overdose are released from the hospital after a matter of hours, when they’re deemed medically fit. Together with New Hope, we are addressing these individual needs and helping save lives.”
New Hope serves as the County’s official crisis center and is partially-funded by the Department of Human Services. Part of Catholic Health Services, New Hope currently accepts men and women in need of temporary crisis stabilization – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and offers them residency at the Center for up to 28 days. The Center helps individuals regain the level of functioning that enables them to live successfully in the community or refers them to an appropriate facility that can meet their needs.
Referrals to New Hope will be made by police and the Mobile Crisis Team that is located within the County’s Office of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency; or an individual may contact the Center directly for a pre-admission by calling (516) 546-7070. Walk-ins without prior screening are accepted; however, admittance is based on bed availability.