Kristie Golden, PhD, LMHC, CRC, Named President of Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW)

Kristie Golden, PhD, LMCHC, CRC, Executive Administrator and Associate Director of Operations for Stony Brook University Hospital and the Stony Brook University Neurosciences Institute, was elected President of the Board of the Long Island chapter of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, (MHAW), which is based in Ronkonkoma.

The mission of the MHAW, whose members all share the belief that mental health is as important as physical health, is to inspire people of all communities to pursue and sustain healthy, meaningful lives. This includes helping those who face chronic and serious mental illness and psychiatric disabilities, mental health issues for the first time, and the special needs of our military veterans.

Knowledge, strategic vision and a collaborative spirit

“Dr. Golden brings a wealth of knowledge and strategic vision to the organization. Her insight, dedication and steady-hand will be significant assets in carrying out our mission and living our values. I am looking forward to partnering with Dr. Golden and the other Board members, as we strive to meet the emotional health needs of all communities,” said Colleen Merlo, CEO, of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness.

“I’m honored to lead the Association for Mental Health and Wellness as we aim to share and strengthen resources grounded in evidence-based research and that serve all people and all communities,” said Dr. Golden. “We will continue to ensure that all of the local needs and voices are heard and recognized by government leaders, the business community, advocacy groups, educational and research organizations in our region, while doing everything we can to ensure people access the healthcare services they need.”

At Stony Brook, Dr. Golden oversees operational aspects of psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery and other related program areas. She specializes in fostering collaboration between the hospital, ambulatory services/physician practices and the community. As a member of the hospital’s Executive Staff, she plays a key role in shaping hospital policy, strategic and operating plans, community interface and budgets. She has proposed and implemented many new strategic initiatives in the neurosciences, serving patients and communities, and moving healthcare practices into the future.

“Dr. Golden has been critical to our efforts to increase access and quality across all the disciplines she works with. She has unfailing optimism, tremendous organization, unparalleled knowledge of the community and its needs, and the ability to work with a variety of disciplines. The patients she serves and the faculty she works with are all much better off because of her work and devotion,” said Ramin Parsey, Co-Chair, Stony Brook Neurosciences Institute and Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.

A champion of mental health needs

Dr. Golden has championed the mental health needs of Long Islanders since the early days of her career as a vocational counselor at Northwell’s South Oaks Hospital. There, she developed new programs and services, as Vice President of Ambulatory & Community Services before joining Stony Brook Medicine in 2013. Shortly after her arrival at Stony Brook, Dr. Golden’s expertise in the addressing the opioid epidemic led her to coordinate the addition of counselors who screen emergency department patients for alcohol and drug use, as well as depression, and connect patients and families to needed resources. Her focus is always on the triple aim — to improve the health of populations, improve the experience of patients and reduce healthcare costs — while supporting optimal health outcomes.

She also currently serves on the Suffolk County Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel, is Co-Chair for Long island for the NY State Regional Planning Consortium, is a Board of Trustee member of Concern Housing and serves on the advisory boards of both the North and South Fork Mental/Behavioral Health Initiatives.

Dr. Golden has a Doctorate in Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Health Administration from Union Institute and University, a Master of Science in Education and Rehabilitation Counseling from Hofstra University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Stony Brook University. She has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses and has several relevant, peer-reviewed publications focused on the employment and inclusion of people with disabilities.

About the Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW)

The Association for Mental Health and Wellness came out of the merger of three successful Suffolk County organizations: Mental Health Association in Suffolk County, Clubhouse of Suffolk and Suffolk County United Veterans. By coming together as one organization after more than 50 years, MHAW offers the region comprehensive services and advocacy that focuses on mental health as well as overall health and wellness.

The legacy of the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County’s work is evident in the services that the MHAW provides in professional and peer practice development for the mental health workforce, speakers for community events, as well as a robust schedule of educational and public awareness programs for the community-at-large.

The Clubhouse of Suffolk’s legacy, which focused on offering direct services to those with psychiatric disabilities or who are facing mental health challenges for the first time also lives on. The MHAW’s two Centers for Recovery and Wellness offer state-of-the-art rehabilitation and clinical care to ensure that adults and children with physical and behavioral health challenges get the help they need.

And Suffolk County United Veterans, is now a division of MHAW, and offers a range of professional and peer-driven services, including the well-known Dwyer Project, for veterans who are at-risk of homelessness, facing mental health challenges, or in need of help obtaining employment, food or care management assistance.

For more information about the MHAW, visit or call (631) 471-7242.

To learn more about Stony Brook University Neurosciences Institute visit