mental health

The state’s Office of Mental Health is partnering with Behavioral Health News to sponsor four roundtable discussions on the impact of stigma on the care and treatment of people living with mental illness.

Stephen J. Giordano, Ph.D., Commissioner Albany County Mental Health Director of Community Services

Albany County’s mental-health emergency response team is ready to help the families and friends of residents who have died of COVID-19 just as it would if there were a plane crash, offering grief counseling and support.

“The concerns that lead to using more drugs and alcohol or potentially relapsing if you’re in recovery or even overdosing are present all together right now and posing enormous challenges to folks that are struggling with addiction,” says Stephen Giordano, Ph.D., director of the Albany County Department of Mental Health.

Area schools are closed leaving kids without structure and without an opportunity to socialize in traditional ways — potentially for months. Psychiatrist Jessica Griffin, who is an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, speaks about potential impacts of social distancing on children and how those impacts can be mitigated.

Alicia Stenard believes that a topic percolating just below the consciousness of the American public — school lockdowns — needs to be addressed. As a longtime Albany teacher, she worried about the effects lockdown drills had on her students’ psyches.

We can’t let half of depressed young adults fall through the safety nets our society has put in place.

Zachary Barrantes

Zachary Barrantes, who is now 25, has been struggling for years with both physical and mental health problems. 

At 19, he developed Lyme disease.

 Daniela Filmer, the mother of Zachary Barrantes, the 25-year-old mentally-ill man who survived an attempted suicide at Thacher Park on New Year’s Eve, said no single person or institution is at fault for what happened on Dec.31; there had been breakdowns at every turn that night. 

Emails from Democratic town board members in Berne about their concerns over their fellow town board member and combat veteran Dennis Palow led to an angry crowd gathering in support of Palow at Town Hall on Wednesday night.


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