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Richmond University Medical Center Recognizes May as National Mental Health Awareness Month

Hospital Leadership, Community Leaders Tie Ribbons in Recognition of Those Struggling with Mental Illness

May 12, 2021 – Since 1949, America has observed May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. Today, Richmond University Medical Center leadership, staff, and community leaders tied white ribbons around trees on hospital property to bring attention to the needs of individuals who struggle with mental health illness.

“Many individuals struggle with mental illness in silence and alone. Mental illness affects people of all ages, ethnicities, socio-economic status, and professions,” RUMC President and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel J. Messina, PhD, FACHE, said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Over the past year we have seen an increase in people across Staten Island seeking assistance for mental and behavioral health issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance use.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults in the United States and 1 in 6 youth between the ages of 6 and 17 experiences a mental health condition in a given year. Richmond University Medical Center is the leading provider of behavioral health and substance use assistance programs on Staten Island for adults, adolescents and children. RUMC operates a comprehensive outpatient Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine located at 1130 South Avenue, its’ emergency department is Staten Island’s sole source for inpatient psychiatric services for adolescents, and the hospital administers numerous programs for children and their families through the Staten Island Mental Health Society, a division of RUMC, that has sites across the borough and is headquartered at 669 Castleton Avenue.

“We want the people of Staten Island to know we are here for them, and ready to assist them, whatever their needs are,” Vice President for Behavioral Health Services, Joanne Pietro, said. “Thanks to our compassionate behavioral health staff, many individuals seeking help have found a family of professionals and experts who are providing them with unparalleled person centered care found nowhere else on Staten Island.”

Joining RUMC leadership and staff to tie ribbons commemorating May as National Mental Health Awareness Month were Staten Island Deputy Borough President Ed Burke, Director of Health and Wellness for Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, Dr. Ginny Mantello; and Morgan Mazzarella, representing Staten Island District Attorney, Michael McMahon.