Islip goes Purple

Posted 9/14/23

A Color Run for a cause

By Michaela Medeck

Islip Goes Purple is a monthlong initiative designed to unite the Town of Islip in raising awareness of mental health substance-use disorder and …

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Islip goes Purple


A Color Run for a cause

By Michaela Medeck

Islip Goes Purple is a monthlong initiative designed to unite the Town of Islip in raising awareness of mental health substance-use disorder and celebrating those in recovery. All townships are encouraged to “go purple” and hold events throughout National Recovery Month in September.

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, community members gathered at Islip Town Hall for a Color Run and the kickoff for Islip Goes Purple events. Complimentary cupcakes, popcorn, and water were offered. Before the race began, community members of all ages signed in and received matching shirts. While waiting, they were encouraged to visit tables set up by Outreach and Youth Enrichment Services.

Friendly faces at the Youth Enrichment Services table took time to provide educational material in both English and Spanish, which informs readers about Community Mental Health Promotion & Support (COMHPS). COHMPS establishes, improves, and maintains community mental health and wellness. Their primary mission is to serve and empower youth and their families while creating a safe and healthy environment.

Outreach provides teens in the greater New York area comprehensive residential care who suffer from substance abuse/dual diagnoses and/or involvement with the courts. Their mission is to inspire individuals and families to achieve a life of unlimited potential by developing and delivering the highest-quality, evidence-based behavioral and integrated medical health services offered by a professional and highly qualified staff.

They provided educational material at their table, showcasing their services, including multi-disciplinary clinical staff, medication-assisted treatment, access to care for mental health and substance-use disorder, individualized treatment plans, and more. Outreach has locations in Long Island, Queens, and Brooklyn.

At 4 p.m. that afternoon, community members made their way around Town Hall. As they crossed the finish line, they were showered with purple powder. After the Color Run, everyone gathered around Town Hall to hear from town supervisor Angie Carpenter and other distinguished individuals who helped make Islip Goes Purple a success.

“Islip Goes Purple symbolizes our continued commitment to stand together united in memory of the lives lost, those in recovery, those struggling, and the families around town—and really, across Long Island—who have been impacted by mental illness and struggling with mental health and those affected by substance-abuse disorder, and it does not discriminate; it can affect anyone,” Carpenter said.

Many parts of Long Island are following their lead. Still, there is more to do, and Carpenter urges businesses, schools, and the community to continue coming together and spreading the word.

MaryAnn Pfeiffer, executive director of Youth Enrichment Services, said, “We are going to eradicate this. We are going to eliminate people suffering, families suffering.” She aims to encourage prevention and intervention and for families to use the numerous options offered throughout Long Island.

As Islip Town Hall was lit purple, it was clear that everyone attending was full of love, determination, and hope.

Visit the Islip Goes Purple website to learn about more events taking place throughout September. 


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