BY ALLEN GOLDSTEIN
The culmination of a long sought dream came to fruition last Sunday when the Mental Health Association of Rockland County (MHA) dedicated its new home in Valley Cottage.
Threatening skies did not deter a large group of attendees who came to pay tribute to the namesake of the center, Senator Thomas P. Morahan.
“I want to express our deepest appreciation for the legacy, advocacy, and support of Senator Morahan, without whom our wellness center would not have become a reality,” said Stephanie, MHA President and CEO.
Joan Silvestri, MHA Board Chairperson and the daughter of the late Rockland County lawmaker, addressed the crowd saying, “We see this building as a beacon of hope for people with mental disease and the center for providing these services. My father’s greatest passion was the mental health community. He did whatever was necessary.
Senator Morahan served one term in the New York State Assembly representing the 96th District from 1981-1982. He was a member of the New York State Senate from 1999-2010 representing the 38th District, and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities from January 2010 until his death in July 2010.
At the ceremony before the ribbon cutting by Madison was the unveiling of a portrait of Senator Morahan, which will hang in its permanent place of honor just inside the building’s front door so that all who entered would see it.
The MHA is a volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission is “the prevention and treatment of mental illness through community outreach.”
As a member of United Way of Rockland County, MHA provides programs that include rehabilitation, education, residential services, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, and family support.