Hope for Pride
Mar 14, 2018 | 7373 views | 1 1 comments | 273 273 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor,

Club Pride, a successful mental health program for Queens seniors, officially closes on June 30. But the actual end date for most members was March 13 when van service ended.

They won't be able to attend because they can't afford or are unable to use mass transit. Many are upset and uncertain about their future.

Club Pride began in 1998 as a unique psycho-social program for folks 55 and older, run by the Pride of Judea in Douglaston and funded by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

More than 1,200 people suffering from mental illness were put on the path to recovery over the past 20 years. Psychiatrists and therapists throughout Queens referred patients to the program.

But a dispute with the city prompted the closure of Club Pride, abandoning some of its most vulnerable clients.

However, Club Pride may be saved if the largest institution that refers patients steps in. Northwell Health's Hillside-Zucker Geriatric Psychiatry Center in Glen Oaks uses Club Pride as a support system for discharged patients.

Why can't Northwell Health fund Club Pride? It owns 22 hospitals, employs 61,000 staffers and runs a $4 million television ad campaign. Club Pride's operating costs would hardly put a dent in that huge budget.


Richard Reif

Kew Gardens Hills
Comments-icon Post a Comment
March 18, 2018
Richard, Thank you for writing this article. Club Pride in so many ways saved my Mother's life. We lost our father 2 years ago and the grief left my Mother with sever depression. We had to admit her to Northwell Health. She stayed 7 weeks and upon discharge the social workers provided the information for club pride. The excellent medical care she received at Northwell was matched and if not surpassed by the support and friendships' my Mom has made at Club Pride. I think all the members and family would like to be a part of what ever needs to be done to save the club and transportation. So many of the elderly folks are now struggling with in their 4 walls as family or caregivers are working to find other centers to meet their needs. We are social beings and this population can not be home and be entertained with the technology like so many of our youth. They need to laugh with others, cry with others and tell each other their feelings, face to face, human being to human being. Sincerely a caring Daughter.