Council Members Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore), Deborah Rose (D-North Shore), and Minority Leader Steve Matteo commissioned official New York City Council Proclamations for two non-profit organizations that do work on Staten Island relating to bullying, substance abuse, and other mental health issues; Staten Island Mental Health Society (SIMHS) and IlluminArt Productions. The proclamations were presented to SIMHS President Fern Zagor and IlluminArt Executive Producing Director Arlene Sorkin at today’s New York City Council stated meeting.

October is recognized as National Bullying-Prevention month. Recently, Council Member Borelli sponsored a bullying-prevention workshop for parents at I.S. 24 in Great Kills where SIMHS organized a Q&A panel following a theatrical performance by IlluminArt Productions. Their performance highlighted different types of potential interactions between students, root causes of bullying, and avenues for positive expression.

“I consider it a privilege to present these two wonderful groups with official proclamations. Their work on behalf of Staten Islanders has touched the lives of many of my constituents, and I hope they accept this accolade as a small token of our appreciation for their efforts to improve our community. My special thanks to Staten Island Mental Health Society President Fern Zagor for her extraordinary leadership on this and so many other mental health issues,” said Council Member Joseph C. Borelli.

“I’d like to thank Council Member Borelli for this recognition, but most of all I’d like to thank him for providing these opportunities for parents and community members to come together to look at bullying and what we can do to address it. We know that bullying affects the entire family. It has significant psychological and biological short and long-term consequences for children whether they are the target, perpetrator, or even just a bystander,” said Fern Zagor, President of SIMHS.