News Articles

As Suicide Prevention Month Ends - Let's Keep Talking

By Jim Sliney Jr and John-Mark de Palma


Caseworkers are on the frontline of social services. They assist and counsel families and individuals through life’s hardships, connecting them with resources and emergency support. Often these Case Workers come across situations of people in need of more than just food or housing but emotional support. That is why Catholic Charities of New York has made a point of sending their staff to regular Mental Health First Aid training.

Mental Health First Aid is a training provided by ThriveNYC, a New York City program to elevate the mental health system so it works for everyone. It is not a clinical training program, it provides proven practices to help recognize the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance misuse. They teach listening without judgement, and how to respond to and help someone in distress until they can get the professional care they may need.

Catholic Charities of New York can connect people with trained professionals who are ready to listen and help with problems that stem from insecurities, depression, stress, or substance misuse. Debra Presti-Eschen, licensed clinical social worker and director of outreach services case management, at Catholic Charities Community Services adds that, “for those individuals and families who are impacted by a mental health crisis, we are there to help by listening, identifying the level of crisis, connecting to an appropriate local crisis hotline or mental health provider.”

For help with finding programs and services, call us at the Catholic Charities Help Line: 888-744-7900 between 9am -5pm. (Please note this is not a Crisis Hotline.)


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1-888-NYC-Well – a New York City program that makes services available by phone, text, or online chat. There are interpreters available for 200+ languages.

ThriveNYC – a comprehensive mental health plan for New York City

Mobile Crisis Units – NYC has mobile crisis teams available. These are mental health professionals that usually provide clinical service in the home

The Visiting Nurses Service of New York provides community mental health services throughout the state

Parish Counseling Network serves the Hudson Valley

Make the Connection- connects veterans, their family members and friends, and other advocates with mental health information, local resources, and inspiring stories of recovery. Visitors can find reliable information on how to cope with challenges such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, and transitioning from service. 

911 – For immediate assistance 24/7 for those in danger or need medical help


If you or someone close to you is experiencing a mental health crisis, turn to these resources. They exist to help in dire times. Hardship does not make a person less valuable or important, but it does make the people around those people more responsible and needed.