News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus, Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021, , FAX: (845) 486-2021,

Dr. Kenneth M. Glatt, Commissioner of Mental Hygiene, 845/486-2750


October 22, 2001

Steinhaus Announces Outreach Through Department of Mental Hygiene and “Project Liberty”

Poughkeepsie. . . Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced that Dutchess County is the recipient of a federal grant which will be used to provide crisis intervention, counseling and support services for county residents who have been affected by the World Trade Center attack and subsequent events.

County Executive Steinhaus said, “At this time of national tragedy, we are all experiencing a range of feelings – from sadness and loss to anger and to fear.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to families everywhere, especially those here at home who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11.  During the past month, clinical staff at the Department of Mental Hygiene as well as Saint Francis Hospital, the Mental Health Association and Astor Home have been providing immediate counseling, crisis hotlines, debriefings, consultations, outreach and referrals to all those who sought their services.  In addition, an outpouring of response from other local agencies such as the United Way, Family Services, Inc., Vassar Brothers Hospital and the Red Cross has been particularly gratifying.”

“Because of the ongoing military action and the continuing threat of terrorism, it has become apparent there is a need for more community outreach, counseling and support to help people deal with the emotional and psychological impact of recent events; and now, thanks to ‘Project Liberty’, a result of federal, state and county cooperation and collaboration, more can be done,” continued Steinhaus.  “At this time, I would like to commend the staff at our Department of Mental Hygiene, who have been working with the New York State Office of Mental Health to pull together the necessary information needed to qualify for the funding – specifically, commissioner Kenneth M. Glatt, Alan Kraus, Division Chief for Mental Health Services and Bonnie Scheer, Director of Community Services and Team Leader of the Dutchess County Trauma Team.  As a result of their efforts, Dutchess is one of seven counties outside of New York City to qualify for the Project Liberty Grant.”

Commissioner of Mental Hygiene, Dr. Kenneth M. Glatt, said, “We will be working with existing local agencies including Saint Francis Hospital, Astor Community-Based Services and the Mental Health Association to coordinate appropriate responses to help people in our county cope with the World Trade Center tragedy and subsequent events.  Project Liberty staff, all trained mental health professionals, will be providing short-term counseling and support services at no cost for all individuals affected by the events on and after September 11.  For those who need extended counseling or other kinds of services, referrals will be made to appropriate agencies or providers.”

The Project Liberty Team is available to talk to people in their homes, at schools, places of employment, churches, community agency locations and other available sites.  Project Liberty staff can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling Dutchess County HELPLINE at 485-9700 or toll-free at 1-877-485-9700.  The Program will continue as long as needed, and it is integrated into the Department of Mental Hygiene’s existing treatment system and Dutchess County’s network of community services.

Dutchess County will receive $105,300 in Project Liberty grant funding, which is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Administration.


2001 Press Releases