2014 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree

Long Island Crisis Center Inc.

Long Island Crisis Center Inc.

Linda Leonard
Executive Director

At the time of its inception in 1971, the Long Island Crisis Center (LICC) was a single-phone-line suicide prevention hotline. In the past 43 years, it has grown into a major crisis intervention center, staffed around-the-clock by trained counselors, who help more than 11,000 cases annually. The center now features six telephone hotlines, live online chat, texting and walk-in counseling.

The center also offers translation services for Long Island's increasingly diverse immigrant population, and serves as backup to the national suicide hotline 1-800-SUICIDE, Children of Hope, the Long Island Railroad (in response to the occurrence of suicides on railroad platforms) and numerous Long Island agencies.

In response to the growing crises among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, the center created the Pride for Youth (PFY) program which services include individual, family and group counseling, sexual health services (including HIV testing), disease and unintended pregnancy prevention, and youth leadership opportunities. The cornerstone of PFY is The Coffeehouse, a weekly drop-in center for LGBT youth ages 13 to 21.

LICC also offers extensive outreach to Long Island schools through its Building Healthy Lives Through Education program. Workshops are delivered to individual classrooms, not large assemblies, to maximize student and teacher interaction. Topics are age-appropriate and carefully scripted, and include suicide prevention and awareness, anger management, understanding self-injury, the dangers of cyberbullying, understanding homophobia and transphobia, and adolescent depression. As of last school year, more than 13,000 students and educators participated in the program.

Last year, the LICC was the recipient of the Innovation Award during the First Annual Long Island Imagine Awards, for implementing technology to bring its life-saving services to as many people as possible. "The Long Island Crisis Center is guided by the highest professional and ethical standards and infused with a rigorous commitment to excellence," wrote the center's award nominator.

"The center helps the most marginalized and disenfranchised populations find their voice, advocating with and for them. The LICC is willing to take risks, both politically and financially, so that all people have equal and appropriate services available to them."