TYSA Launches “IN OUR BACKYARD”: A Virtual Campaign Bringing Awareness to Opioid Usage In Communities of Color

There is misinformation around the types of people that opioid use is impacting on Staten Island with the majority of focus on white, middle class, suburban residents despite rates of use and overdose among Black and Brown people and North Shore neighborhoods. TYSA aims to bring attention to the actual state of opioid use and overdose among communities of color, and build the capacity of local providers and clinicians to better prevent and treat opioid and other illicit drug use among communities of color on Staten Island.


During this time of stress and uncertainty, it is essential that Staten Islanders have access to substance use and mental health services and supports. The TYSA coalition is committed to supporting all its partners and the community in navigating our complex behavioral health system in this time of crisis. This page will be updated every few days to make sure the information is as useful as possible.

If you’re interested in volunteering with TYSA virtually, contact Jazmin at jazmin@sipcw.org. We will be holding regular virtual workgroup meetings, webinars, and community workshops over the coming weeks.

Mental health and substance use treatment services

Looking for a licensed mental health or substance use treatment provider? Telehealth allows you to access traditional healthcare without going into the clinic. Many Staten Island organizations are offering telehealth services that can connect with you even if you’re stuck at home. Please visit our resource page for phone numbers and website.


If you’re in crisis or need immediate support, use these hotlines:

  • Richmond University Medical Center: 718-818-6300
  • NYC Well: 1-888-692-9355 OR text 65173
  • RUMC Mobile Outreach: 718-818-6900
  • NYS Free Emotional Support Hotline: Thousands of therapists have signed up to offer free emotional support to New Yorkers who are struggling with the mental health impact of this pandemic. Call the state’s hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to get free emotional support, consultations and referrals to a provider.

If you are interested in talking to a peer:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: Call 800-950-6264 or text NAMI to 741741

Online Support Groups

Virtual support groups for people using or recovering from substance use 



Groups for family members or loved ones

SMART Recovery for Family & Friends (www.smartrecovery.org)

Parents Resources

Now more than ever, parents should be talking to your children. With many schools and daycares closed, we are spending a lot more time together at home. Add in the stress of concern over this virus, and many adults and children may be feeling anxious.

Hotlines for support if your child has a substance use disorder:

  • Center for Addiction: 1855-378-4373 OR text 55753

General Guidelines for talking to your children about COVID-19 (National Association of School Psychologists)

  • Remain calm and reassuring
  • Make yourself available
  • Avoid excessive blaming
  • Monitor television viewing and social media
  • Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible
  • Be honest and accurate
  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19
  • Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection
  • Discuss new rules or practices at school
  • Communicate with your school
  • Take time to talk with each other

Just Talk – Parents You Matter

Interested in a workshop to build your skills to communicate with your child, recognize changes in behavior, and find community resources for behavioral health? We offer our Just Talk – PYM virtually. Reach out to Abby at abigail@sipcw.org for more information.

Social Emotional Learning in the Home

In stressful times like these, it is important we maintain the social and emotional needs of our children. There are a number of resources available to support parents and educators in discussing the virus with their child, learning from home, and fun activities to do while inside.

Resources for People of Color

There are many resources for people of color during this time of crisis. Click here to visit NAMI for a list of resources.

Call the BlackLine for support: 1-800-604-5841

LGBTQ+ Resources

The NYC Unity Project provides a comprehensive catalog of mental and physical health, social, and legal aid resources. Visit their website to learn more about LGBTQ programs and services that are available citywide.

Community Resources

Feeling stressed or anxious during this time? Need to find a behavioral health provider? Check out some of our social media campaigns on maintaining positive behavioral health for yourself and your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: Access to Services & Social Distancing

Resources for Parents during COVID-19 Pandemic

Beat the COVID Blues & Suicide Prevention

About TYSA

Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) is a coalition of people and organizations who have come together with a mission to decrease youth and young adult substance misuse on Staten Island. The coalition focuses all of its members on using their resources to help one another, and the whole community, combat substance misuse.

Contact TYSA

444 St. Marks Place
3rd Floor
Staten Island, NY 10301

Main Line: (718) 226-0258

For Media Inquiries:
Iris Kelly
(718) 226-0258

TYSA is a Proud Member

4 Steps to Making Your Building Smoke-Free

In April of 2017 the Health Department launched a new media campaign educating New Yorkers on the dangers of secondhand smoke at home and encouraging them to make their home smoke-free. The media campaign ran through May 21 on bus shelters, in newspapers, on the Staten Island Ferry and on television. The video version of the campaign is available below.

Continuing the momentum of this campaign, smoke-free housing benefits everyone. For owners, there is less property damage and fewer turnover costs. Also, the lower risk of a fire can potentially lead to savings on insurance.

For residents, the air is cleaner and healthier in their homes, as well as in common areas, such as hallways, lobbies and stairwells.

Want to make your building smoke-free?

Here are 4 steps to get you started:

  1. Decide the policy. Do you want the entire building and all common areas to be smoke-free, or just apartments and indoor areas? You can involve residents in the process, possibly through a survey.
  2. Educate residents. Distribute a letter or notice to make sure everyone follows the new rules. This notice should include:
  • Policy details
  • Benefits of the rule
  • Effective date
  • Resources for quitting smoking
  1. Add the rule to leases. In addition to adding the rule to new leases, you can also amend current leases during renewal, or if a resident voluntarily agrees to a lease change.
  2. Enforce the rule. You should post signs, remove ashtrays and smoking litter, and start discussing the rule to prospective tenants.

For more information contact smokefree.housing@health.nyc.gov, visit nyc.gov and search “smoke-free housing,” or visit NYC Smoke-Free’s website: http://nycsmokefree.org/issues/housing-inequality.


Staten Island: Rethink Your Drinks

Put down the mocha latte and step away from the sugary energy drink.

On Tuesday, June 27, the Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative unveiled its new campaign to bring awareness to disparities in sugary drink marketing. More than a dozen community members gathered at the Pride Center of Staten Island to view a gallery about the dangers of sugary drinks and targeted marketing efforts by companies to black and Hispanic communities.

Here are some of the incredible stats shared through the gallery:

  • From 2008 to 2010, children’s and teens’ exposure to full-calorie soda ads on TV doubled (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)
  • People of color are more likely to have limited access to healthy beverages, more inclined to consume sugary beverages, and more affected by preventable chronic diseases (Fact from Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • Sugary drinks and energy drinks often featured positive nutrition messages, including ‘all-natural’ or ‘real’ ingredient claims on 64% of packages  (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)
  • Overall, Black youth saw more than twice as many TV ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks compared with white youth (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)
  • Food and beverage companies disproportionately target marketing efforts promoting sugary drinks toward people of color (Fact from Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • Hispanic children saw 49% more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks in 2010 than in 2008; in the same period of time, Hispanic teens saw 99% more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)

Following the gallery walk through, visitors were welcomed into the conference room at the Pride Center of Staten Island, where

Dr. Ginny Mantello, Director of Health and Wellness at the Office of the Borough President, spoke about the consequences of sugary drink consumption. Members of the community chimed in with suggestions on how to better reach Staten Islanders. All attendees then walked to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal – St. George – to view the advertisement, which will run for the next five weeks.

To finish off a wonderful day dedicated to wellness on Staten Island, the group visited The Living Room, managed by Greensulate.

To learn more about the Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative, visit our website.

Nonprofit Urges Staten Islanders to Rethink their Sugary Drinks this Summer

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (June 26, 2017) – Are you constantly reaching for sugary beverages to quench your thirst? If so, the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness (SIPCW) is asking you to rethink your drink. The nonprofit health organization announced today a new advertising campaign at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and a gallery event on June 27 to highlight disparities in sugary beverage marketing.

Sugary drinks are linked to chronic health problems such as heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. However, according to the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, sugary drinks and energy drinks often feature positive nutrition messages on more than half of packages.

Making matters worse, sugary drink advertisements often target Black and Hispanic communities, where there are already higher rates of obesity. The Rudd Center also found that black children and teens saw more than twice as many ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks on TV compared with white children and teens in 2013, and advertising for sugary drinks and energy shots on Spanish-language TV increased by 44 percent from 2010 to 2013.

“Our message to Staten Islanders is simple: don’t be played and swayed by sugary beverage advertisements,” said Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director of SIPCW. “The regular consumption of these drinks can lead to a lifetime of health problems. Just because you have a certain ethnicity and live in a certain community, you shouldn’t have to experience poorer health outcomes because of targeted and irresponsible drink advertising.”

Beginning today, SIPCW’s public service advertisement calling attention to this important topic will be displayed at the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George. Tomorrow, June 27, community members will gather at the Pride Center of Staten Island to view a gallery presentation about sugary drink ads and hear from Dr. Ginny Mantello, Health and Wellness Director at the Office of the Borough President. Dr. Mantello will speak about the Borough President’s “Sodabriety” program and the health issues that stem from sugar intake. Following the gallery viewing, the group will march to the Staten Island Ferry terminal to view the ad.

This advertising campaign has been developed with the help of partners who are members of the recently launched Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative. The Child Wellness Initiative is a cross sector coalition of more than 60 organizations, comprised of community stakeholders, schools, community-based organizations, youth-serving organizations, food justice partners, healthcare systems, elected officials, faith-based leaders, parents, and children from Staten Island and New York City who have come together to fight the alarming levels of childhood obesity on Staten Island.

To learn more about the Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative and how you can get involved, visit SIPCW.org/childhood-wellness.



The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness is a non-profit organization established to promote wellness and to improve the health of the Staten Island community through collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach. For more than 20 years SIPCW has addressed critical public health issues such as obesity, chronic disease prevention and behavioral health on Staten Island. Over the span of the past two decades, SIPCW has successfully convened stakeholders, enabled data-driven decisions and identified evidence-based strategies to collectively approach complex health issues for at-risk communities on Staten Island.