Farmingville, NY – On April 15, the Brookhaven Town Board voted unanimously to designate March 2021 as Mental Health Awareness Month in the Town of Brookhaven. The Town of Brookhaven encourages its residents, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools to commit to increased awareness and understanding of mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.The Town of Brookhaven Youth Bureau’s Sanctuary Program offers professional counseling, crisis intervention, case management, information and referrals to youth 12-24 years of age who may be having difficulty with stress management, relationships with friends or family, school avoidance and more. Support services are also available to at risk, runaway and homeless youth. Currently, services are being offered in person and through video communications via Zoom.“The Youth Bureau’s counselors have seen an increase in the need for services since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” Supervisor Ed Romaine said. “It is gratifying to know our counselors were and continue to be there for both youth and their parents during these difficult times.”Councilman Michael Loguercio, Town Board Liaison to the Youth Bureau said, “Mental health is a very important part of a person’s overall health. The Youth Bureau’s counselors provide clients with the tools they need to handle very serious issues in a constructive way.”While one in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that could impact their mental health. According to Mental Health America, people who have been through trauma are three times more likely to experience depression. The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on the mental health of people of all ages. Now more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles that often prevents individuals from seeking or reaching out for help.For more information about the Brookhaven Youth Bureau’s programs and counseling services, please visit brookhavenny.gov or call 631-451-8011.