By Kathianne Boniello
The face of Northern Boulevard in Little Neck has been changing and at least one community organization has taken notice.
In response to an increase in the community’s Asian population — reflected in the growing number of Asian businesses and churches in Little Neck along Northern Boulevard — Pride of Judea Mental Health Services in Douglaston has changed its name to Pride of Judea Community Services.
Pride of Judea Director Paula Held Sharf said the change was motivated by a desire to be accessible to the entire community.
“We’re trying to let all people know our doors are open whenever they need our help,” she said. “This community has many more Asian residents and a wide variety of Asian stores on Northern Boulevard. There’s a large Korean population, and we need to provide service” for them.
The mental health agency has reprinted a number of its brochures in Korean, Held Sharf said, and plans to get a batch of brochures done in Chinese as well.
She said Asian cultures tend to harbor anxiety about taking advantages of mental health services. By changing its name to Community Services, Held Sharf said she hopes to avoid the stigma.
After meeting with community leaders Held Sharf said she realized that “most, if not all Asians would be embarrassed” to go to a mental health clinic.
For decades, Pride of Judea has been helping a wide variety of people as the largest mental health social services agency in Queens. Often referred to as “the Pride,” the center at 243-02 Northern Blvd., provides services ranging from marriage counseling to crisis intervention to children’s services.
Pride of Judea began 85 years ago as an orphanage in Brooklyn, and relocated to Queens in 1969. The agency, which moved to its current Douglaston location in 1972, is one of only three mental health facilities in northeast Queens. In 1997 Pride of Judea merged with the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.