2018 Year in Review

By Stephanie Madison, President & CEO

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s important to reflect back and celebrate just a few of the many incredible accomplishments that we have achieved as an agency. It is truly our privilege to positively touch the lives of more than 5,000 community members a year, through more than 36 different programs and services designed to promote hope, offer help, and partner in healing. We could not be the agency we are today without our dedicated staff, committed Board Members, and wonderfully generous volunteers and donors. Please take time this holiday season to celebrate you, and all the ways in which you have supported MHA’s success in providing life-saving services. Below are just a few of our noteworthy accomplishments:

MHA won the 2018 Service Provider of the Year Award from the Rockland Economic Development Corporation
MHA opened the first integrated pharmacy in the Hudson Valley and the 3rd in NY State
MHA secured $705,000 in new funding through grants, contracts and fundraising
MHA was chosen to operate a gold star standard program for children known as Hi Fidelity Wrap Around
MHA was granted a new five year contract through Adult Career & Continuing Education Services to provide vocational services and supports to adults and young adults
MHA was chosen to operate a vocational program for youth known as Work Readiness Internship Development Experience (or WRIDE)
MHA, through CBHS, is now participating in a $2.6M Behavioral Health Care Collaborative grant, one of only two grant awards in the Hudson Valley region

From our MHA family to yours: we wish you peace, love, and prosperity in the coming year. May your days be filled with joy and contentment. Thank you for all you do and all you are on our journey as we connect people, educate families and rebuild lives.

Far From The Tree

MHA, in collaboration with The Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education, Jawonio and Rockland County Pride Center, is hosting a movie screening of Far From the Tree, a film which examines the experiences of families in which parents and children are profoundly different from one another in a variety of ways.


We invite you to join us on December 6 from 7:00-9:30 pm at Clarkstown High School South for a screening of this beautiful film based on the New York Times bestseller by Andrew Solomon.  There will be a Q & A with Director, Rachel Dretzin, following the screening.  This event is FREE and open to the public.


We hope you will join us on December 6th for the movie screening of this great film!  For more information about this event, contact Velvet Reda at extension 257.

Quality Improvement

MHA Welcomes a New Department

By Nicole Annunziata, Director of Quality Improvement


Quality Improvement is a brand new department that was introduced to the agency in May 2018, although not a new concept to MHA. Over the past seven months, we have been able to closely track quality measures across the agency and within each unique department. This allows each program director to receive data on his/her program outcomes to help inform changes that may be needed to enhance the services our members receive. Collaboration within the departments has increased with a refreshed focus on data and how it helps inform new and improved workflows.

Initiatives such as the foundational belief of Zero Suicide, Tobacco Cessation Programs, initiation and engagement of treatment and reducing emergency department visits are just a few of the common goals of MHA and our community partners. We have had the pleasure of participating in various workgroups in the county, such as the Rockland Community of Care, led by our partners at Montefiore Hudson Valley Collaborative. This has strengthened our relationships with other Rockland based community organizations, served as a platform for sharing best practices and allows the members of our community to gain additional access to resources.  Although Quality Improvement has a large focus on data and outcome measures, our common goal is still to ensure that the members of our community are receiving all services that are available to them and that any social determinant of health needs are met.

We are excited to welcome Nicole Annunziata as the Director of Quality Improvement!  Formerly, Nicole was the Director of MHA’s Adult Care Management Department.

2018 REDC Service Provider of the Year Award

MHA was the proud recipient of the Service Provider of the Year award from the Rockland Economic Development Corporation (REDC). The REDC honored companies, organizations and individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to Rockland’s economic vitality and have substantially enhanced the local business climate. It is an incredible honor that acknowledges MHA’s contribution to the vitality of the Rockland community and the lives of the more than 5,000 people we are privileged to positively impact each year.
SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR: The Mental Health Association of Rockland has a 67 year history of providing outstanding services to more than 50,000 Rockland residents since its inception in 1951. It has grown from a grassroots organization to the premier provider of behavioral health services in the community, engaging more than 5,000 individuals annually. MHA consistently strives to improve the quality of life for those affected by mental health and/or substance use issues. MHA offers a vast array of therapeutic services, with most programs offered in people’s homes, schools, and workplaces. The operational principles include passion, commitment, innovation, collaboration, and fiscal responsibility. The staff of 200 employees work tirelessly to connect people, educate families, and rebuild lives each and every day. We look forward to a bright future, continuing to serve those who need us most and contributing to Rockland being the best community it can be.

Mental Health & Wellness 101

By Wendy Blanchard


With Mental Health Awareness week approaching, the MHA of Rockland is excited to announce the release of the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.’s (MHANYS) training program, Mental Health & Wellness 101! MHA’s Wendy Blanchard was honored to be a part of creating this training as a resource and support for the newly implemented New York State Mental Health Education Law which began on July 1. New York is the first state to implement this law.
MHANYS asks “Why is it important to talk about mental health and wellness?”
The median time between the onset of mental illness (when symptoms first appear) and when an individual gets appropriate treatment is 10 years.  During that time, a person is likely experiencing periods of increased symptomology and periods of wellness.  Mental Health and recovery are dependent on an individual’s ability to recognize and manage where they are each day on the continuum between wellness and illness, and to take care accordingly. Education and early intervention promotes wellness and leads to better outcomes.
MHA of Rockland is now offering training sessions which are approximately 90 minutes long, including a Q & A session.
Goals of the Training:
  • Increase basic knowledge of mental health to help reduce stigma.
  • Understand Mental Health as a continuum of wellness that defines us every day — it is illness, recovery and all of the space in between.
  • Promote wellness, treatment seeking behavior, recovery and self-care.
Ideas for training location/audience:
  • Community events or civic organizations (libraries, wellness conferences, etc.)
  • Workplace wellness (chamber of commerce events, business “lunch and learn”, etc.)
  • Staff development (schools, hospitals, community service providers, etc.)
For more information, or to schedule a Mental Health and Wellness 101 training, please contact Wendy Blanchard, M.S., CHHC, CPS, Client & Family Advocate and Community Educator at blanchardw@mharockland.org, or 845-267-2172 Ext. 296.  Wendy will also be a speaker and panelist at the MHANYS Healthy Minds, Healthy Schools, Healthy New York Conference on October 17th in Albany!