Westchester Independent Living Center

Putnam Independent Living Services

May 2023

The WILC team has some helpful information to share this month! Please read along to find some valuable tips and resources to care for your mind and body and much more! 

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is mental health awareness month, and the biggest step we can all take to ending the stigma is starting the conversation. According to Johns Hopkins, one in four US adults (26%) experience mental illness each year, while research from NAMI states that one in twenty-live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (13.1 million). 


This month you can make a positive impact by: 

  • Let a family member or friend know you're there for them.  
  • Create a self-care routine for yourself.  
  • Learn more about your mental health through research or connecting with local resources.  
  • Create a resource sheet to be displayed within your home or office listing the following: 
  • Emergency Medical Services: 911 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: suicidepreventionlifeline.org; 988 
  • Crisis Text Line: Text CRISIS to 741-741; crisistextline.org 

The Active Project: Adaptive Sports

Are you looking to learn more about adaptive sports and recreational activities? The Active Project created a web portal that is a one-stop shop for finding information, programs, and community for a variety of adaptive sports and recreational activities — everything from wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis to hand-cycling, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and more.  


The Active Project is still in its infancy, and the Kelly Brush Foundation is encouraging all people with disabilities and adaptive sports organizations to create profiles so the Active Project can expand its database. 


To learn more, click HERE.  

Representation Matters: First Barbie Doll with

Down Syndrome

Photo Credit: Mattel 

Mattel introduced its first-ever version of the Barbie doll representing a person with

Down syndrome. 

The new doll is part of Mattel Barbie Fashionistas line, which aims to offer kids more diverse representations of beauty and fight the stigma around physical disabilities. 


This doll was reviewed by a medical professional and introduces a new face and body sculpt illustrative of women with Down syndrome, including a shorter frame and a longer torso. The face features a rounder shape, smaller ears, and a flat nasal bridge, while the eyes are slightly slanted in an almond shape. 


To read more, click HERE.  

Resources for Homelessness & More on Benefits.gov

Photo credit: Benefits.gov


  • ADHD Resources: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children, young adults, and adults. There are over 10 million adults and around 6 million school-age children living with ADHD in the U.S. Symptoms are not always easy to recognize, and treatment is different for everyone. To learn about the available resources and benefits to help with ADHD and other mental health conditions, click HERE.  


  • Homelessness: Being homeless or at risk of being homeless can be scary and affect many parts of your life. Between finding somewhere to stay at night, getting food, and medical care, it easily becomes overwhelming. To learn about valuable resources to help you with housing, healthcare, or food access needs, click HERE.  


  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition program in the country. SNAP serves every community in the U.S. and helps millions of Americans buy healthy food each year. To learn how to check your eligibility for SNAP, how to apply, and how you can use SNAP benefits for you and your family, click HERE.  

New Variant Jumps to Second Place on COVID List

The CDC's most recent update now lists Arcturus as causing 7% of U.S. coronavirus cases, landing it in second place behind its long-predominant Omicron cousin XBB.1.5, which causes 78% of cases. Officially labeled XBB.1.16, Arcturus is a subvariant of Omicron that was first seen in India and has been on the World Health Organization's watchlist since the end of March. To learn more, click HERE

Update for COVID-19 Tests

What you need to know:  

The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ended on May 11, 2023. The ending of the Public Health Emergency may impact an individual’s coverage of COVID-19 tests. 

Consumer Fact Sheets: 


After May 11, 2023 

Laboratory tests for COVID-19 that are ordered by your provider will still be covered with no out-of-pocket costs for people with Medicare. Over-the-counter tests will still be available, but there may be out-of-pocket costs. Coverage of over-the-counter tests may vary by your insurance type, as described below. 


What does this mean for Medicare Beneficiaries? 

Generally, Medicare doesn’t cover or pay for over-the-counter products. The demonstration that has allowed us to offer coverage for COVID-19 over-the-counter tests at no cost ended on May 11, 2023. 


However, if you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, you will continue to have coverage with no out-of-pocket costs for appropriate laboratory-based COVID-19 PCR and antigen tests, when a provider orders them (such as drive-through PCR and antigen testing or testing in a provider’s office). 


If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have more access to tests depending on your benefits. Check with your plan. 


What does this mean for people with Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program?  

If you have coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, you will have access to COVID-19 over-the-counter and laboratory testing through September 30, 2024. After that date, coverage of testing may vary by state. 


What does this mean for people with Private Insurance? 

If you have private insurance, coverage will vary depending on your health plan. However, private plans won’t be required by federal law to cover over-the counter and laboratory-based COVID-19 tests after May 11, 2023. 

Step Up for PTSD Awareness

June is PTSD Awareness Month. In recognition of this, the National Center for PTSD is inviting you to step up and show your support during their annual Step Up for PTSD Awareness Virtual Walk! By registering today to complete 30 minutes of exercise at any time during the month of June, you will help raise awareness of the effective PTSD treatments that are available.  


Whether you walk, run, cycle, or swim, the National Center for PTSD is encouraging participants to gather a group of friends and get active! Click HERE to register today.  

Upcoming Webinars

My Anxious Brain  

Join us in a safe space to discuss symptoms and coping techniques. 

Presented by: Christine Stevens 


DATE: Tuesday, May 16, 2023 

TIME: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm 



To register, email cstevens@wilc.org   

Social Skills Group

(Ages 18-27)  

Join us for 4 weeks in a safe space to learn social skills and techniques.  


DATE: Thursdays, May 25 – June 15, 2023  

TIME: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm 



To register, email ddellisanti@wilc.org or call (914) 682-3926 x 2131 

Interview Skills Workshop  


Join us to learn skills to make a good impression on your interviews. 


DATE: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 

TIME: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 



To register, email ddellisanti@wilc.org or call (914) 682-3926 x 2131 

Disability Pride Month Art Show  

Showcase your pride through your art on our social media in July and at our Art Show Event! 


DATE: Artwork must be submitted by Thursday, June 15, 2023, in person or via email 



Email submissions to Elizabeth Bussian at ebussian@wilc.org. Call 914-356-1988 with

any questions.  

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Westchester Independent Living Center

10 County Center Road 2nd floor

White Plains, NY 10607

(914) 682-3926 (Voice)

(914) 259-8036 (VP)

(914) 682-8518 (FAX)


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Putnam Independent Living Services

1441 Route 22, Suite 204

(Tompkins Mahopac Bank building)

Brewster, New York 10509

(845) 228-7457 (Voice)

(914) 259-8036 (VP)

(845) 228-7460 (Fax)