Mandating health initiatives

Noncarrow said that was the objective; the aim, he said, is to hire another social worker to work with the Greenport, Southold and Mattituck School Districts that all can share; currently, all three districts have their own social worker, but those individuals are "bombarded" with casework, he said.

Nyilas said experts would be trained to spot signs of suicidal behavior; she received safe TALK training to detect suicidal behavior and said that training is free and can be provided by the Family Service League.

"Teens 18 years old and under on the North Fork have a huge problem finding mental health care," Noncarrow said.

"It's been a challenge through the years." After the South Fork was faced with tragedy and teen suicide, New York State provided funding for mental health services, Noncarrow said.

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New York State Senator Ken La Valle spearheaded the grant effort along with all local lawmakers in an effort to support the needs of students in local schools, he said."There is a tremendous recognition among state lawmakers, education officials, and the entire behavioral healthcare field for the need to provide these vital resources and services," stated Dr.Jeff Steigman, chief administrative officer at Family Service League.That's not to diminish those in any way but, let's bring that same commitment to an issue just as important to our youth." All school districts also earmarked some funds in their current school year budgets to support the initiative.The funds will be utilized to hire additional therapists at Family Service League, the agency that will be contracted to offer enhanced support for students in need.

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