OHEL's Annual Legislative Breakfast Draws Public and Community-Wide Supporters and Inspiration from Fox News Commentator
Policy makers, elected officials, advocates and community activists gathered for the 3rd Annual Legislative Breakfast on Friday morning, April 15th. This event strove to acknowledge the breadth of services and the impact OHEL makes in various communities and further break down various stigmas that often impede the decision to get help, most acutely in the area of mental illness.
Opening remarks were made by Mel Zachter, Co-President of OHEL. Accompanied in support of OHEL were Co-President Moishe Hellman and David Mandel, CEO. Key note speakers included Bill Mulrow, Secretary to the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Fox News commentator Tamara Holder and Dr. Gary Belkin, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Bill Mulrow, brought regards on behalf of Governor Cuomo, stating that â€śitâ€™s a great human trait to take care of the less fortunate,â€ť and commending the work that OHEL performs every day. Mr. Mulrow spoke about the importance of both a balanced budget and the acute need of allocating the necessary resources to human and health services.
Tamara Holder, Fox News commentator spoke personally and passionately about mental health and stigma, conveying â€śI will not be silenced.â€ť She recounted family members and friends challenged by psychiatric disabilities, including her grandfather who suffered from mental illness for over 50 years. As Ms. Holder so powerfully stated â€śIf you have a brain, you have mental health issues,â€ť capturing the painstaking reality of how mental health issues affect us all.
Dr. Gary Belkin, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene spoke of implementing ThriveNYC and â€ścentral goals for a thriving city.â€ť ThriveNYC is a bold new mental health initiative of Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray, which is a comprehensive plan of action to ease the burden that mental illness places on individuals, families and communities. Mental illnesses can prevent people from graduating schools, staying employed and constantly reoccupying emergency rooms. OHEL is a proud partner of this initiative and Dr. Belkin strongly expressed that OHELâ€™s presence is crucial in order for this initiative to be accomplished.
The government officials also in attendance that provided remarks were Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Councilmembers David Greenfield, Mark D. Levine, Rory Lancman and Assembly members Richard Gottfried and David Weprin.
The breakfast was hosted at Bernstein Private Wealth Management in Manhattan, NYC by Jeff Wiesenfeld, Principal of Bernstein. The event was coordinated by Ezra Friedlander. OHEL extends its thanks to the many public officials, OHEL Board members and other benefactors in attendance, who displayed their support for OHEL and the many causes the organization provides and addresses.
Since 1969, OHEL has served as a dependable haven of individual and family support, helping people of all ages surmount disability, everyday challenges, heal from trauma, and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. OHEL's record of service excellence, stellar reputation and consistent top ratings in regulatory audits in foster care, housing, outpatient counseling, day programs and Camp Kaylie has enabled us to deliver cutting edge programs serving the ever-increasing and diverse needs of the most vulnerable in the community. OHEL serves thousands in need every day in communities in New York, New Jersey, South Florida, Los Angeles, California and worldwide on the web (http://www.ohelfamily.org/)