As a parent, you want to do what’s best for your child, and no one knows your child better than you. With that in mind, you are usually the first to recognize when your child is experiencing an emotional difficulty. Is your child eating less or sleeping poorly? Maybe your child is not keeping up in school or your youngster is in a bad mood all of the time. What’s your child’s social situation like? Is he or she not getting along with friends or family? Speaking with a professional can be the first step in helping you decide how to help your child.

Since 1913, people have turned to Long Island nonprofit Peninsula Counseling Center (PCC), 50 W. Hawthorne Ave., Valley Stream, for guidance in coping with troubling life issues. We help parents to raise emotionally healthy children and to understand how stress affects family life.

Children’s mental health problems are real, common and treatable. Did you know that more than 15 million children and teens have mental health or substance abuse issues? Only one in five of those children receives professional guidance.

Peninsula Counseling Center’s outpatient services provide individual and group services for children and teens experiencing depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, eating disorders, learning disabilities, obsessive compulsive disorders, suicidal thoughts, as well as issues related to alcohol and drug abuse. We recommend that parents consult with a professional PCC staff member to see how counseling will benefit their child if there may be a problem. Even if you’re not sure what the problem is or what it might be called, someone at PCC is ready and willing to assist your family. We have specially trained and fully qualified professionals to help you and your child follow an effective personal program to meet your needs.

Peninsula Counseling Center also has a Child and Family Clinic Plus Program. This program provides a free emotional check-up for children in select school districts. Parents may request confidential, free screenings for their children through their school or pediatrician, or by directly contacting PCC. Through Clinic Plus, PCC hopes to identify and help youth at risk in Nassau County, enabling those in need to receive individualized treatment to address their specific needs and ultimately better the direction of their lives.

Some parents deal with the added pressures of being in the “sandwich generation,” coping with the growing pains of their children and the aging problems of their parents. Twenty-two million Americans are caring for parents or older relatives according to AARP. The multiple pressures of fulfilling both roles can become overwhelming. Individual therapy or support groups may aid parents in dealing with this emotional distress. Adult children and caretakers say they find counseling services extremely beneficial while caring for an older adult. PCC services for older adults include home-bound counseling services, a bereavement program, a social model day program for people with Alzherimer’s disease or dementia and a day program for the frail elderly. Individual and group therapy and psychiatric evaluations and services are also available.

Every family is a priority at Peninsula Counseling Center, and any emotional issue of concern that you might have is worth talking about. The expert, caring staff at PCC is committed to your well-being. If you think there’s an emotional or psychological issue that we can help you or a loved one with, please let us know. Improving the lives of individuals and families is what we’ve been doing for almost a century.

Peninsula Counseling Center (PCC) is licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. To speak directly to intake staff, dial (516)569-6600. PCC accepts most insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, and it offers a sliding fee scale for people without insurance. Learn more by logging onto