Jeff Rindler at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center / Photos by Michael Polito
The Well-Being Institute’s doors are now open. As one of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center’s newest programs, the Institute brings no-cost, culturally-responsive, short-term individual and group counseling to the Hudson Valley.
Along with professional counseling services, the center provides support groups, health and wellness activities, recovery groups, educational services, and community education and outreach.
The services come with high demand: Over a quarter of Hudson Valley LGBTQ residents report frequent mental health distress with little access to health care services, according to a 2015 NY State LGBT Health and Human Services Needs Assessment. Many claim the issue lies in the lack of psychological support groups for LGBTQ people in the area. Others report financial problems, stigma, and distance as issues that prevent them from receiving the help they need.
In addition to counseling, the Institute offers holistic treatments like acupuncture, yoga, and health workshops to complement the support groups and educational services available onsite.
Executive Director Jeff Rindler knows the value of offering holistic services to the public. “We cannot look at just a symptom,” he says. “We believe in looking at the entire individual, mind, soul, and body.”
In regard to the larger conversation about health services in the Hudson Valley, Rindler notes that the Well-Being Institute helps to fill a gap in the critical industry.
“There was a real need for the services the center will provide,” Rindler says. “The LGBTQ community needs a space where they don’t have to wonder, ‘Am I going to be treated with respect?’”
Clients will be offered short-term individual or group counseling on a need basis. After the Institute determines how it can assist, it then refers clients to healthcare professionals within Ulster, Dutchess, and Orange counties as suit their needs. If the Institute ever experiences a surplus of clients, Rindler explains that it will implement a waitlist to mitigate the demand. People will be moved to counseling based on availability, and referrals will be given to those who require immediate guidance.
Planned Parenthood, Goshen, Kingston, Middletown, Newburgh, New Windsor, Poughkeepsie, Spring Valley
The Newburgh LGBTQ Center, Newburgh
The LOFT: LGBTQ Center, White Plains
OCNY Pride Center, Warwick