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Maimonides To Build Mental Health Center in Ditmas Park

Additional mental health services is coming to central Brooklyn.
Newkirk Family Health Center.

Thanks to new funding, Maimonides Health said it will create a new mental health center as part of its Newkirk Family Health Center in Ditmas Park.

Maimonides Health will be able to expand its developmental, behavioral, and mental health services thanks to funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), as part of the state’s latest expansion of its HealthySteps Program, according to a news release. 

The $433,000 grant, to be disbursed over a five-year period, will enable Maimonides to create a new HealthySteps site at its Newkirk Family Health Center, expanding its existing pediatric primary care center. 

HealthySteps is an evidence-based program that integrates child development specialists into the pediatric primary care setting to provide wraparound services for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. Specialists use a two-generation approach to promote well-being and address concerns about challenging behaviors, developmental delays, caregiver mental health, and family needs such as food and housing instability. The model emphasizes preventative efforts and guidance to prevent future mental health challenges.

“We are grateful to be able to use this state grant funding to bring this transformative care model to more patients in Brooklyn who need it,” said Jeffrey Avner, Chair of Pediatrics at Maimonides.

The Brooklyn Parenting Center, established in 2023, offers comprehensive social and emotional care for both parents and children in a low-barrier setting where families are already accessing healthcare. Teams of obstetric, prenatal, and pediatric specialists screen families for unmet psycho-social needs, intergenerational trauma, and mental health concerns before their child is born, shortly following their child’s birth, or in the early childhood stage of 0-2 years old. These services help address health risk factors and connect patients with mental health professionals and community organizations to assist them with accessing the care they need.

“The new Brooklyn Parenting Center extension will help so many families gain access to support services during what we know is the formative and critical period of  early childhood   that will shape long-term health outcomes,“ said Yonit Lax, MD, Brooklyn Parenting Center Program Director and Chief of Pediatric Community Health at Maimonides. “Newkirk Family Health Center is one of our main primary care locations, that serves a diverse group of families so this is a huge step in making this resource more accessible and bringing our team’s expertise directly to where it is most needed.”

For more information about the Brooklyn Parenting Center, visit the Center’s website or call (718) 283-6347.