Speak Hope fundraises for mental health


It was an intimate soiree of dinner, dancing, and good music at the Speak Hope Foundation’s 2nd Annual Gala at the Coral House in Baldwin aimed at raising funds to help uninsured individuals and disadvantaged communities in and around Valley Stream pay for mental health treatments.

Even your average, middle-class individual could face a hefty price tag for seeking treatment, noted Speak Hope Foundation board member Don Skinfield

“Although many people are insured, their health insurance coverage has significant limitations,” said Skinfield. “A person who is looking for mental health counseling goes to a provider for a consultation, believes that the provider is a good match, and wants to continue treatment, but the healthcare provider will not provide authorization for the treatment. The person would then have to pay up to $1500 out-of-pocket or go to another provider who may have a two-month waiting period for treatment and a $40 co-pay is not uncommon.”

Counseling services will be provided by the New Hope Mental Health Counseling Services, a partner organization of The Speak Hope Foundation. Each $40 will pay for one session. “With roughly 150 attendees, we’ve raised about $17,500, so will be able to help a good amount of people with the funds raised,” said Skinfield.

“We’d like to thank A.B. Whitfield, founder of the Trey Whitfield school in Brooklyn, who attended and supported the cause, and Schneps media, who recently recognized individuals from the New Hope Mental Health Counseling Services, and sponsored the event,” he added.