Open Door Family Medical-Westchester -May is Mental Health Month

Behavioral health therapists at Open Door Family Medical Center viewed Marilyn (not her real name) as “a child with really, really significant mental health needs.”  The 14-year-old, however, who lives with her mother in a multi-family apartment in Westchester County, needed advanced care but couldn’t be hospitalized for several weeks because she had Covid-19.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a good time to look at the increase in the mental health of teens locally. While the mental health status of teens has become more precarious and even predated Covid-19, the pandemic has greatly exacerbated the situation.

The benefits with school-based health centers, which have always played a critical role in monitoring the physical and mental health of children were compromised when schools went remote.  This was especially important in places like Ossining and Port Chester, where Open Door runs the Nita M. Lowey Centers for Health in Schools.

“The school-based health centers have always reached kids where they are,” said Fink. “They treat the whole child and provide a wider lens.  If you are worried about someone, you wait outside the classroom to make sure they are okay.  You have the ability to do those check-ins for kids or see if they are absent.  It makes it so much easier for the parent.  There are eyes on them.”

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Yonkers Times

May 16, 2022