Nonprofit will provide referrals, support
A newly formed community organization, the Philipstown Behavioral Health Hub, will host its grand opening in Cold Spring on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 3 to 7 p.m.
Located just off lower Main Street, the nonprofit will offer confidential referrals to mental health and addiction services, as well as information and follow-ups.
Its executive director is Danielle Pack McCarthy, a social worker who is also Philipstown’s addiction-resource coordinator, a position established by the Town Board in 2017. She said those in need will be referred to the center by schools, judges, therapists, first responders and religious institutions, although walk-ins are welcome. The Hub also will host support programs and workshops and identify grants that could fund addiction recovery and resources.
“We have a lot of private practitioners who do great work [with therapy] but are not necessarily connecting patients to other resources,” Pack McCarthy said. “We want to make sure no one slips through the cracks.”
She said she expects that “getting people in the door” will be the initial challenge, “to make people comfortable with the space. We’re busy now establishing that foundation, creating policies and at the same time already working with families in crisis.”
Pack McCarthy, a former Nelsonville trustee, spends 12 hours per week as the town’s addiction resource coordinator but noted “there are not enough resources. The Hub will broaden my position to more mental-health programming” and offer regular hours and a central location. “The number of overdose deaths in Philipstown is just unacceptable,” she said. “So, too, is the prevalence of loneliness, isolation and addiction.”
The Hub is overseen by a board of directors chaired by Shannon Keegan that will handle marketing, technology and fundraising. “The board is quite diverse; there are people who have been here their whole lives and others who have moved here in the past 10 years,” Keegan said. “We have a wide range of experience and perspectives, including, for example, an emergency-room doctor at Putnam Hospital.”
Keegan said the board did not plan to have a storefront but was able to fund it because of the “amazing community support. So many people are touched by mental-health issues, whether it’s depression, anxiety or loss of life,” she said. “We’ve had generous startup money.” Once they established the office, she said, “it felt essential.”
The other members of the board are Luke Hilpert, Tamar Stubbs, Carol Powell, Katie Cucchiarella, Drena Fagen, Maria Stein Marrison, Dave Marzollo, Melanie Matero, Kristin McPherson, Craig Muraszewski, Rebecca Pearsall, Lisa Scicluna, Sylvia Wallin and Suzanne Willis. The Hub is also working with the Philipstown Coalition, formerly known as the Philipstown Communities That Care Coalition.
Pack McCarthy said having a location in Cold Spring is important because so many resources are located on the other side of the county. “Even when we could get people to Carmel for the initial step [for treatment], it was too far to be able to do a real follow-up,” she said.
“Now people can come through this door, get an assessment, find out about the resources available, and I’ll be following up closely,” she said. “I’ll be asking ‘How did that meeting go? What was the chemistry like?’ I’ll be arranging transportation. What we don’t want is for people to be sent to the E.R. and get cast out. This is a place where relatives can say, ‘This [treatment] didn’t work,’ and we can try again.”
The Hub is located at 5 Stone St. To learn more or donate, visit philipstownhub.org or call 845-809-5050. For confidential assistance, call or text 845-260-1001.