Advocates for the mentally ill were in the spotlight, during Community Board 10’s October meeting.
Ralph Perfetto, the president of the Bay Ridge Mental Health Council, and Laura Terranova, a social worker with the Fort Hamilton Mental Health Clinic of the South Beach Psychiatric Clinic, received the board’s Honor of the Pledge during the meeting held at the Knights of Columbus, 86th Street and 13th Avenue.
“Mental illness is something people don’t talk about,” remarked Dean Rasinya, the chairperson of CB 10. “It’s one of the areas where there used to be huge taboos. Today, thanks to people like Laura and Ralph, it’s a completely different environment. People are treated much more humanely and in a professional way.”
Advocates for the mentally ill have always been able to count on board members, noted Perfetto. “Over the years, whenever there was a problem and we needed support, we always came to CB 10 and CB 10 always supported us,” he told the group. Efforts to help the mentally ill, he added, “fall upon the advocates, people like us but, more often, people like you.”
Over 50,000 people have been treated at South Beach since it opened, Perfetto added.
South Beach serves residents of Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. It has treatment programs for children aged 12 through 18, as well as adults. While the center is located on Staten Island, there are eight South Beach sites in Brooklyn.
©2008 Community News Group
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