NYCPS & APA Hurricane Disaster Relief Efforts
October 4, 2017

The New York County Psychiatric Society sends condolences to all those affected by the recent hurricanes that have affected so many people throughout the southern states and the Caribbean. Our thoughts are with everyone involved in the healing and recovery efforts.

It seems that each day, new challenges to our own mental health and to that of our patients arise as tragedy after tragedy unfolds in the news. With these continued threats to our foundation and stability, it is imperative that we remain steadfast to the core values that brought us together as colleagues in psychiatry. We believe that our community can be of assistance to a greater psychiatric community outside of NYC.

To that end, NYCPS, and its Psychiatrists for Community Empowerment (P4CE) Committee, has spearheaded a few initiatives to help our colleagues in Puerto Rico and raise funds for general Disaster Relief. Please join us in assisting our colleagues in their time of need and perhaps we can dispel some of our own sense of despair and helplessness with these efforts.

Our Initiatives

Initiative #1 Supplies for the UPR Department of Psychiatry
P4CE reached out to our colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Puerto Rico's School of Medicine to see how we could help. They let us know about the fragile state of their patients' mental health of their patients is especially fragile right now, with suicides at an all-time high, and how they are low on much-needed supplies. P4CE arranged for the collection of supplies they requested, medications, first aid, and personal items, for their communities. The supplies were then shipped to physicians in Miami and transported to Puerto Rico by private jet.

NYCPS thanks our members who collectively donated over $3000 of personal items and 2 boxes of medication for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Puerto Rico.

Initiative #2 Donations for APAF Disaster Relief Fund
NYCPS is partnering with the American Psychiatric Association Foundation to raise money for its Disaster Relief Fund. We held a fundraiser at our Bowling Night on Tuesday, November 7th and had over 35 attendees donate to disaster relief! Thank you for all your donations so far!

If you couldn't make it in person, you can still join our fundraiser by donating here

All donations are going to the APA Foundation Disaster Relief Fund which supports the efforts of the American Red Cross' Disaster Services Program, including their Disaster Mental Health Volunteer Program

Initiative #3 Supplies for the Medical Mission Trip of P4CE Member
NYCPS thanks all members who contributed to P4CE member Dr. Alan Rodriguez Penney's trip WishList for Puerto Rico. The supplies requested were to help with a planned needs assessment and clinic work. Details on his trip are in his letter below.

My name is Alan T. Rodriguez Penney, a PGY-3 resident at SUNY Downstate. On September 20th, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the island in 90 years. Since then, Puerto Rico has been in slow recovery, and while the Island received many donations and materials in the few weeks after the hurricane, there is still much work to be done, especially in rural communities!

CrearConSalud, Inc is a non-profit organization founded by a group of Puerto Rican psychiatrists living in the United States. The group is committed to improving mental health in Puerto Rico through community empowerment and has been going to to the Island since 2015. Since the hurricane, members of CrearConSalud have already visited Puerto Rico twice to do a needs assessment. I will be going with another Puerto Rican psychiatrist, Dr. Vanessa Torres Llenza, from Nov 19 to Nov 25th to continue the work of our colleagues and their collaboration with rural communities. We plan to visit Punta Santiago in Humacao to follow up with the community-based organization PECES, and assess the use of water filters that we donated in October. Additionally, we plan to collaborate with Iniciativa Comunitaria, an organization that does rural community work as well as outreach work with the homeless population. We will visit their community clinic Clínica Bantiox, and go on their nocturnal outreach program Operación Compasión.

How You Can Help

  • We are still accepting donations as part of our second initiative. You can donate by clicking here

We will continue to update this page as we plan additional advocacy and relief efforts.