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Workshops for seniors begin at Hempstead's Uniondale-Merrick Senior Center

Community education coordinator for the Long Island Crisis

Community education coordinator for the Long Island Crisis Center Laura Campbell, center, speaks to Bette McNamara, left, and Eleanore Paul, right, both of Uniondale on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

Local residents attending Hempstead Town's Uniondale-Merrick Senior Center Wednesday heard about services available to them at a series of workshops presented by the town and the Long Island Crisis Center.

"Though we often believe that our senior citizens are enjoying happy, peaceful lives in their 'golden years,' many will experience stressful challenges related to isolation, medical problems or losing a spouse or other loved one," said Town Supervisor Kate Murray, who kicked off the first of six counseling workshops scheduled in the town.

Town council members Dorothy Goosby and Gary Hudes also were at the senior center on Jerusalem Avenue in Uniondale.

"We are thrilled that the town . . . is taking a lead on bringing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to the community's senior citizens," said Linda Leonard, executive director of the Long Island Crisis Center.

Pierre Mazile, 62, a native of Haiti who has lived on Long Island since 1988, said he found the ideas presented in the workshop informative and good.

"That's no surprise, though," said the former sales representative in the garment industry. "This is a great center. Strong on education and, really, a second home for us seniors."

Bette McNamara, 79, a retired teaching assistant whose husband, Michael, died last year, said she would avail herself of the "bereavement and depression services" offered.

Mazile and McNamara live in Uniondale.

Information about the workshops can be obtained by calling the office of Hempstead Services for the Aging, 516-485-8100.

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