Girl Scouts of Nassau County Successfully Hold Mental Health Symposium

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Girl Scouts of Nassau County recently held their first Mental Health Symposium at the Long Island Children’s Museum. The event was a critical initiative reflecting a commitment to community and the wellbeing of today and future generations. Over 50 community stakeholders participated in the event, including school superintendents, social workers and more, who engaged directly with the panelists and gained insights into various mental health topics. The symposium was aimed to demystify mental health and foster a supportive environment for open discussions.

“Addressing mental health is crucial, especially in a post-pandemic world where many are still grappling with its effects. Our goal in hosting this symposium was to create a platform for dialogue, understanding and education, to begin to build solutions for Nassau County” said CEO of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Rande Bynum. “As Girl Scouts, we are dedicated to nurturing young minds, and understanding mental health is a fundamental part of that journey.”

The symposium featured an expert panel, including Beth Ann Balalaos, Access and Inclusion Program Director at the Long Island Children’s Museum (LICM), SP Brown, Author of Gifts in Brown Paper Packages and Kyrie’s School Blues, Adrian S. Goodwin, Law Enforcement Practitioner, Author, Entrepreneur and Speaker, Lisa Halstead, Student Psychological Counselor at Queensborough Community College, CUNY and LH Consulting, Amanda Jesser-Peña, Director of Prevention and Development at the Crime Victims Center, Chanel Lopez, Deputy Director of LGBTQ+ Affairs for Governor Kathy Hochul at NYS Executive Chamber, David Nemiroff, President & CEO Harmony Healthcare Long Island, and Bernadine Waller, Ph.D, LMHC, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Translational Epidemiology and Mental Health Equity with a dual appointment at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute. Gabby Fidis, RDT, LCAT, and Taylor John, MPH student at Emory University, served as moderators, leading the discussions on mental health, challenges, and strategies for community-based solutions.

The mental health symposium provided a platform for sharing experiences and strategies, emphasizing the importance of community support and knowledge sharing in mental health. This symposium reflected Girl Scouts of Nassau County’s enduring commitment to the holistic development of young girls, particularly in the context of mental health, a vital aspect of their overall mission to build strong and resilient future leaders.

For more information about Girl Scouts of Nassau County and the many events they hold throughout the year, visit

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