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St. Catherine’s Receives $30,000 to Support Rensselaer County Youth Mental Health Needs

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

St. Catherine's Center for Children will expand its capacity to deliver respite services to youth in Rensselaer County.

August 31, 2022

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) On Friday, August fifth, the New York State Office of Mental Health announced St. Catherine’s Center for Children’s inclusion in a one-time funding of $30,000 per organization for nonprofit entities to expand activities that support children and families with significant mental health needs. The award is to expand St. Catherine's Center for Children’s capacity to deliver respite services and provide highly needed mental health support to the youth of Rensselaer County.

Through this opportunity, St. Catherine’s will prioritize Rensselaer County youth currently on a waitlist for mental health services and those recently accessed for crisis mental health services. St. Catherine’s will work closely with Rensselaer County Mental Health Children’s Single Point of Access (SPOA) to identify those youth and families most in need of the support respite offers.

Since 2008, St. Catherine’s Center for Children has provided respite services to youth (ages 5-18) residing in Rensselaer County through a contract with Rensselaer County Mental Health. The program offers day, evening, and weekend respite services designed to relieve families from the intense demands of raising a child with social-emotional and behavioral disabilities through therapeutic-based, supervised contact.

The youth served though respite, one of St. Catherine’s prevention service, may need additional supervision, a positive role model, access to the community, and time away from their home environment. Respite offers guided recreational outings and mentorship to help them develop social and coping skills. Parents or guardians likewise benefit from the reprieve respite can offer. St. Catherine’s also offers group counseling sessions with other parents and guardians with similar experiences.

“Respite helps promote family stability and lessens the likelihood of a child needing to be placed in care settings outside of the home. Our Prevention Services help us help keep families intact whenever we can, and this grant helps us reach more families,” says Frank Pindiak, Executive Director of St. Catherine’s Center for Children.

In 2021, St. Catherine’s Respite program served 13 children and 1 additional child in the Overnight Respite Care program in Rensselaer County.

About New York State Office of Mental Health

New York State has a large, multi-faceted mental health system that serves more than 700,000 individuals each year. The Office of Mental Health (OMH) operates psychiatric centers across the State. OMH also regulates, certifies and oversees more than 4,500 programs, operated by local governments and nonprofit agencies. The Mission of the New York State Office of Mental Health is to promote the mental health of all New Yorkers, with a particular focus on providing hope and recovery for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances. For more information, visit

About Rensselaer County Mental Health

For over forty years, Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health has maintained responsibility and a commitment to the mental hygiene needs of our residents by monitoring and continuously improving the system of behavioral healthcare services delivered in the county. We work collaboratively with a consortium of agencies that serve individuals enrolled in programs funded by the New York State (NYS) Offices of Mental Health, Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Committed to excellence, we provide comprehensive mental hygiene services that promote resiliency and recovery. For more information, visit

About St. Catherine’s Center for Children

St. Catherine’s Center for Children was founded by the Daughters of Charity in Albany in 1886 as a home for sick orphans. Today, the agency is a haven for hope, offering a comprehensive range of human services for Capital Region children and families coping with issues of abuse, neglect, mental illness, homelessness, and trauma. In addition to offering extensive services to the homeless and those who are at risk of becoming homeless, St. Catherine’s offers residential services for children ages 5 to 13, a therapeutic foster care services, an elementary school for children with special educational needs, and community-based prevention services and programs designed to strengthen vulnerable families. Last year, St. Catherine’s services reached nearly 2,000 children and families in the Capital Region. For more information, visit

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Office: 518-453-6700



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