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Lansingburgh to Partner with St. Catherine’s & Rensselaer County for Student Mental Health Support

September 21, 2022

In August 2022, the New York State Office of Mental Health announced that the Lansingburgh Central School District was awarded $2,388,300 and approved to subcontract with St. Catherine’s Center for Children to deliver student mental health services with Rensselaer County. Through this partnership, St. Catherine's Center for Children will be a resource for Lansingburgh students and their families.

The partnership will allow St. Catherine’s Center for Children to make necessary mental health needs assessments, providing vital linkage to community-based services within the school district for students in all grades. Together the district, Rensselaer County and St. Catherine’s will jointly seek to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and their families by boosting both prevention efforts to reduce the number of presenting problems while connecting students to critically needed support.

With this grant, Lansingburgh will be able to continue contracting with Rensselaer County Dept. of Health for the Prevention Specialist currently onsite at Lansingburgh High School (grades 9-12). Additionally, it will allow the district to contract with Rensselaer County for a second Prevention Specialist who will be located at Rensselaer Park Elementary School (grades 3-5). The Prevention Specialists provide school-based mental health and addiction prevention services for district students and their families. They do this in a variety of ways; by providing evidence-based educational curriculum, giving assessments, individual/group/family counseling, giving service referrals and more.

“Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment where high expectations, rigor, life-long learning and civic responsibility are developed and encouraged,” says Dr. Antonio Abitabile, Lansingburgh’s Superintendent of Schools. “With St. Catherine’s, we’ll be able to ensure the greatest probability of successful mental health outcomes for all the students in the district.”

St. Catherine’s has a long and productive history of collaborative relationships with governmental, not-for-profit social service agencies, and school districts in Albany, Rensselaer, and surrounding counties in the Capital District. Through years of active management of prevention-based mental health and rehabilitative clinical support services for children and youth, St. Catherine’s is experienced in navigating the complexities of community services and health organizations and serves youth mental health needs in Rensselaer County.

“Our mission is to address and improve social wellbeing as well as the physical and mental health conditions that negatively impact the community and its members,” adds Frank Pindiak, Executive Director of St. Catherine’s Center for Children. “Increasing engagement in mental health services improves overall family functioning, creating a more stable and supportive environment for children, which in turn will help students with their own mental health challenges.”

The grant, which is part of an additional initiative from the Office of Mental Health, was jointly written by the Foundation of St. Catherine’s Center for Children and the Lansingburgh Central School District.