NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray Passionately Calls for De-Stigmatization of Mental Illness at OHELâ€™S Annual Legislative Breakfast
NYC Firstly Lady headlined OHEL Childrenâ€™s Home and Family Services annual Legislative Breakfast hosted by Jeffrey Wiesenfeld of AllianceBernstein L.P., and thanked OHEL for â€śbuilding a healthier New Yorkâ€ť through its many mental health programs and services.
Drawing on moving personal testimony of the challenges once faced by her own daughter, the First Lady spoke powerfully about the need to further breakdown the stigma of mental illness in the community, so as to encourage individuals to be more proactive in getting the necessary help they need. Ms. McCray emphasized that getting good professional support at times means relying on the advice of experts that you donâ€™t necessarily know, but need to trust.Â
Forefront on the minds of many was the recent Brooklyn fire tragedy, where in the aftermath OHELâ€™S Crisis Response Team has been tirelessly providing help and support to hundreds of children, families, schools and the wider community.
Dr Norman Blumenthal, OHELâ€™s Director of Trauma, Bereavement and Crisis Response, together with OHEL Co-president Moishe Hellman and OHEL Board members in attendance, honored FDNY Chief of Department, James E. Leonard, in recognition of the heroic actions of firefighters.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler who also praised OHELâ€™S work, and decried any proposed budget cuts that would impact the critical social services that OHEL and others provide to the most vulnerable in the community.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson spoke movingly about his visit to Mr. Sasson after the fire tragedy and applauded OHELâ€™s Trauma work in the community.
Members of the City Council who commended OHELâ€™S work in the community included Councilmembers Mark Weprin, Rory Lancman, Andrew Cohen and David Greenfield who spoke of his and the City Councils support of OHELâ€™S newly planned campus in Flatbush.
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James commented personally on the warm words of community support delivered by OHELâ€™S Dr. Norman Blumenthal, at a recent community-wide Fire Safety Training & Trauma Support evening organized by Councilman Chaim Deutsch.