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Crisis Services remains community’s safety net

In a series of articles, The News recently brought to light the current crisis in the mental health system in Western New York and its impact on those suffering with mental illnesses. The articles gave an accurate depiction of a system under significant stress, primarily due to the loss of Buffalo General Medical Center’s 47-bed “behavioral health” unit in June.

In these days of funding cuts, coupled with the onset of mental health managed care, it can be very difficult for a consumer to find ready access to treatment. Although the mental health system is under-resourced and in a state of transition, there is one constant service that is available 24 hours per day. When you or a family member, friend, neighbor or business associate is in need of immediate help due to mental health issues, turmoil in your home or workplace, violence in your relationship or imminent homelessness, you can call Crisis Services at 834-3131 at any time, night or day.

The trained counselors at Crisis Services will listen to your problems without judgment and offer immediate assistance when appropriate or will facilitate a referral to another helping agency, if necessary. Crisis Services’ 24-hour call center ensures a human connection for all callers. Most importantly, no phone call is lost due to cellphone technology that can frequently break down or offer limited service. So, while the “powers that be” are developing ways to help people as best they can, Crisis Services maintains a steadfast service that is always available regardless of bed shortages and/or managed care initiatives. The same service that we’ve been offering for the past 44 years. We have been, and continue to be, our community’s safety net.

Douglas B. Fabian

Executive Director, Crisis Services

Buffalo