On Saturday, October 8, 2022, the Nassau County Mental Health Association (MHANC) kicked off its first overdose prevention and awareness walk – Gone But Not Forgotten (GBNF) – at Jones Beach State Park, Field 5.
Hundreds of people gathered for a meeting with Executive Director Jeff McQueen Mental Health, Dr. Jeffrey L Reynolds, CEO and President of the Family & Children’s Association which received the Gone But Not Forgotten Impact award, Commissioner Patrick Ryder, Matt Brust (former NBA Power Forward) and Victor Ciappa who received the Ciappa Community Advocacy Award to commemorate those who have lost loved ones to the outbreak and are using their voice to save lives.
“I am so grateful to the people who came out and showed their support to help raise awareness of what is killing our community members right here on Long Island,” said Jeff McQueen, Executive Director (MHANC). “The Walk for Overdose Prevention and Awareness – Gone But Not Forgotten is a march that will continue every year and means those who have lost their battle with drug addiction are crying out loud for help.” They are gone but not forgotten!
Supporters enjoyed an energetic 3-mile walk on the boardwalk, light refreshments and snacks, gifts from vendors, merchandise and the camaraderie of new and old friends who walked with the same mission, so that their steps matter by educating the whole community.
Sponsors included NYU Langone, THE CLAIRE FRIEDLANDER FAMILY FOUNDATION, STERLINGRISK, HALI – Hands Across Long Island, MHA – Association of Mental Health and Awareness, Solarus Technologies, YAI, BDO and Wellbridge, to name a few . Funds raised will help expand implementation of four lifesaving interventions including Medication Treatment (MTA), Narcan training, harm reduction services and community education to reach people struggling with opioid addiction , their families and loved ones. Funds raised will support the programs and services that MHANC provides to its members.
Photo by Mychal Watts