The stigma attached to mental health issues makes one feature of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, a children’s health agency located in Roslyn Heights, especially crucial: the waiting room, said Andrew Malekoff, the organization’s executive director.
“Individuals will take a week, a month or a year to come in sometimes because of the way the world views mental health problems,” Malekoff said. “When someone finally gets the courage to make that call, it’s so important for them to walk up to and into a place where they feel welcome and invited.”
Last Thursday, Basset furniture helped North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center become more inviting by donating $10,000 worth of furniture to its reception area.
The guidance center provides various mental health and substance abuse counseling services, as well as advocacy and care coordination services, a North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center statement said.
“After learning about the positive impact the North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center has on children and families in this community, we knew we wanted to help this deserving organization,” said Anthony Lear, the store manager of the Garden City Bassett Home Furnishings store.
Malekoff said it was possible the furniture in the lobby had not been changed since the organization moved to the Old Westbury Road location in 1984.
“We may have replaced a chair here or there but it’s essentially the same look,” he said. “Not like what it is now with the plush couches and chairs.”
Basset also donated tables and table lamps and had the room repainted, Malekoff said.
“When children come in, from young kids to teenagers, we want it to be comfortable and relaxing,” he added. “Where they might put their feet up and grab a book from the shelf or a toy from toy chest.”
The donation is Bassett’s eighteenth such gift and delivery since October 2013 and is part of the company’s Make(over) a Difference initiative that creates fresh living spaces for organizations that serve the communities in which Bassett operates, the North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center statement said.
At the opening of the refurbished lobby last Thursday, Malekoff gave a toast.
“It’s so important to have a house that smiles, props that invite and space that allows for a waiting room to be a center of that whole spirit,” he said.