Free Mental Health Services Being Extended
The human services counseling community and the Erie County Department of Mental Health sprang into action almost immediately after the domestic terrorist attack that took place on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue by starting up a large Mental Health Drop-In Center at the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion just down the street on Jefferson.
Those services were initially made available on Sunday and Monday, May 15th and May 16th from 9 am to 9 pm on both days.
However, the community need has been so great, that officials have decided to extend the mental health and trauma counseling services for the next couple of weeks.
The collaboration between Erie County Department of Mental Health, Spectrum Health and Human Services, Crisis Services, Endeavor Health Services, and BestSelf Behavioral Health has proven extremely helpful for people who have been emotionally and mentally impacted by the mass shooting. Licensed Counselors are available to give free and informal support to the public, along with referrals to other services in the community as needed.
In addition to the services offered by the mental health partners, the will be other support services offered and available from the Buffalo Urban League’s NY Project Hope Team and Spectrum Health’s NY Project Hope Team, SayYes Buffalo, the WNY Chapter American Red Cross, Feed More WNY, and MVP Buffalo (Most Valuable Parents)
There’s a team of counselors here to speak with anyone in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. There’s no paperwork to fill out; the focus is on talking and listening and supporting each other. The center is staffed with counselors of all backgrounds, representing several agencies, from many capacities to assist people with various needs.
-Robert Cannata, Sr. Vice President of Community Crisis Services
In addition to the counseling services, there is also a resource room for children that will have counselors available to talk with the kids while they're doing age-appropriate activities.
Services will be available every day through Friday, May 27, 2022, from 1 pm to 9 pm inside of the Johnnie B. Wiley Resource Center, 1100 Jefferson Ave.