Youth and Family Counseling Center Opens During La Salle’s 160th Year
Albany, NY – Albany’s LaSalle School Community, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and officials from the New York State Office of Mental Health today announced the opening of The Counseling Center at LaSalle (pictured at right), a community-based resource providing direct evaluation, therapy and management for adolescent children needing outpatient support and specialized treatment for conditions such as behavioral health, addiction, trauma and sexual abuse.
“For nearly 160 years LaSalle School has been serving the community with the objective of providing an opportunity for a brighter future,” James Blendell, Chairman of LaSalle’s Board of Trustees, said. “However, over the years our program has shifted to meet the circumstances of the children and families we serve. The Counseling Center was created because we need to respond to a need. And while it may not have been anticipated when established in 1854, it is clearly necessary today.”
The LaSalle community has been a continuous presence in Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood since four Christian Brothers from Canada traveled to the area prior to the Civil War to provide educational support to boys orphaned during a cholera epidemic.
The Center, licensed earlier this year, by the State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), will provide evaluation and outpatient treatment services to the community, including:
- Substance and Chemical Abuse Assessment and Treatment;
- Specialized Evaluation, Risk Assessment and Treatment for Sexual Abuse and Harmful Behavior;
- Family Therapy;
- Adolescent and Parent Support Services; and
- Access to Psychiatric Services to Evaluate Ongoing Medication Management.
An expert team of 12 licensed doctors, clinicians, and therapists will support the Counseling Center and will apply an integrated approach to review and treatment of each individual case.
“Our goal is to provide direct and immediate community-based care on our campus,” said Bill Wolff, LaSalle’s Executive Director. “We know that the key to addressing delicate and difficult circumstances is providing access to qualified professionals. When a family is struggling, and we can provide appropriate service, LaSalle is prepared to say: We’re glad you called, we can help your family, come right over.”
The Counseling Center at LaSalle was developed through the support of the LaSalle School Foundation and its services are covered by private insurance plans and are also Medicaid eligible. Its mission and goals are consistent with the principles of the Affordable Care Act and the state’s commitment to improving health outcomes, sustainable cost control and a more efficient administrative structure.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said, “On behalf of Albany County, I extend my congratulations and appreciation to LaSalle School and its Board and leadership. The initiative on their part to engage the county and its stakeholders to secure input and support for its application to the Office of Mental Health for an Out Patient Mental Health Clinic License, is yet another example of LaSalle’s continuing effort to adapt its programming to the emerging needs of our community, while capitalizing on its programmatic strengths as well as the high regard the community has for the institution.”
“A child’s untreated mental health symptoms can lead to more difficult-to-treat illness and the development of co-occurring disorders. Both the Office of Mental Health and the LaSalle School recognize the need for effective and available mental health treatment options for children, youth and families in New York State. The LaSalle School’s new Counseling Center represents a real commitment to addressing those needs in the Capital Region.” said Associate Commissioner Donna
Bradbury, New York State Office of Mental Health- Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families.
David Wallace, LCSW-R, the Counseling Center’s Clinical Director, said.
“The statistics and national trends are alarming: One in 15 kids is affected by mental illness. Approximately one in four children suffers sexual abuse by the age 18; and opiate use among teens is rising at a rate we have never seen before. Given these staggering numbers it’s time for meaningful partnerships and connections to be built between schools, pediatricians, juvenile justice and the mental health community. LaSalle is now poised to assist and serve as a resource in this endeavor.”