Attorney General James Speaks on Mental Health Issues in Western New York at Public Hearing

Several Testimonies Submitted to OAG Describe Challenges
in Mental Health Care in Western New York and across the State

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James made a public announcement on mental health care in Western New York. Many victims, health care providers, elected officials, and community members gave evidence of their challenges in accessing and providing mental health and services. The testimonies covered many issues, including but not limited to the lack of funds for community health units and health care facilities, gaps in the coordination of care, lack of staff, and abuse in mental health care. This is the second Attorney General’s review of James’ mental health services in New York, following the hearing. in New York City held in June 2022. Attorney General James encourages New Yorkers who face problems or barriers to accessing or providing mental health care provide written evidence in his office until January 20. Through these hearings, Attorney General James hopes to collect opinions directly from the urban, suburban, and rural communities. back across the state to identify legal solutions and incentives.

“The past few months have been particularly devastating for Western New York and many have been left without the necessary resources and care to address their mental health needs,” it said. Attorney General James. “These campaigns are critical to our efforts to improve mental health for New Yorkers, reduce barriers to accessing mental health, and help communities heal. I’m grateful to each and every one of them.” All who have shared their personal and often painful experiences are part of this trial. The evidence and data my office collects will help us solve the mental health problem that is plaguing us. our state and ensure that traditional care is available to all who need it.

21 people gave oral evidence today, and almost 100 people gave written evidence to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Written testimony will be accepted online through Friday, January 20, 2023and all the evidence will be revealed.

The press release can see here.

James’ Attorney General’s initial hearing was held in June 2022 in New York, and prioritize issues that affect the bottom line. Dozens of family members, health care providers, advocates, and elected officials testified in New York’s public hearing.

“Most of the time, stories about mental illness and what needs to be done to improve life for those who suffer, but nothing is done. Instead of empty words, action must be taken to show the state of New York’s true concern for the thousands of people who suffer daily from mental illness and its effects, not just them. , but families, friends and society,” he said. Elisa and Joe Tobia, involved family members who testified in court. “While our 30-year-old son is dying of schizoaffective disorder, the work of Attorney General James has given us hope for the future. I can’t thank Attorney General James enough for taking the time to listen and being willing to take action to finally help those who need it most.”

“Good mental health services are an important part of public health, but access to these services is not always available,” he said. Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I thank Attorney General James for holding this hearing in order to get an opinion from individuals and agencies that deal with mental health issues every day, get an important perspective that can be help improve access across the state.”

“As I work in my capacity as Senate Mental Health Committee Chair to improve mental health outcomes in my community and across the state, I am encouraged that Attorney General Letitia James is pleased with the improving care in Western New York,” he said. Senator Samra Brouk. “The Attorney General has the unique power to implement legislative and enforcement solutions, and I look forward to working with him to address these unmet needs.” achieve in our communities.”

“There’s a stigma around mental health,” he said. Erie County Legislature April NM Baskin. “That stigma shows up in our personal lives, where we don’t feel comfortable talking or showing our own struggles, and that stigma also shows up in public, where we avoid our eyes. . But we can only heal if we explain what makes us sick, and we can only begin to build public policies if we admit that this issue is real and widespread. I commend Attorney General James for having the courage to insist that we confront this issue and for ensuring an opportunity for the public to share their stories. This work is uncomfortable, but important.”

“Mental health is just as important as physical health. As our communities face an increased need for mental health services, nurses and medical professionals are seeing hospital systems across the state closing mental health and detox facilities. Nancy Hagans, RN, BSN, CCRN, President, New York State Nurses Association. “This is not the time to cut back on mental health services. We thank Attorney General James for holding this forum to discuss the challenges of providing care and look forward to real solutions to ensure our communities can heal mentally and physically.

“Many New Yorkers are struggling to have access to the chronic, chronic illness, community support and housing they need and deserve,” it said. Harvey Rosenthal, CEO, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. “Every day, we see the damage when these services are underfunded and staffed or not available. Many thanks to Attorney General James for bringing us together to discuss the challenges and identify real solutions to help our neighbors in need.

“Thank you to Attorney General Letitia James for calling this important announcement. Changing a system requires a coordinated effort, clients and peers must be included in the solution, and it will only be successful if mental health is managed at all levels,” he said. Melinda DuBois, Executive Director, Mental Health Advocates of Western New York. “Based on the tragedies that Western New York has experienced, we have to do better. MHA is grateful to be part of the solution.

“So many people in Western New York are struggling to get the mental health care they need when they’re in trouble. DCS has seen rehabilitation suffer when facilities are underfunded, understaffed, and unable to provide treatment in times of crisis. needs,” he said. Laura J. Kelemen, LCSW-R (DCS, Niagara County), Chair, New York State Conference of Community Health Directors.. “I want to sincerely thank Attorney General James for bringing us together to discuss these challenges and provide the state with real solutions to help our most vulnerable improve and progress.”

“Too many New Yorkers, and too many people of color, are only getting any kind of health care because of a serious accident. And even then, our first contact with the system is limited to police, emergency rooms, and hospital beds, he said. Chacku Master, Member, New York State Health Services Advisory Council. “We need to move away from the failed investments and policies of the past and create a radical change in community-based hospital services such as the youth car and volunteering and the partnership and housing priority. I want to thank Attorney General James for bringing us together to discuss the challenges and come up with real solutions so that we can help those in need.”

Attorney General James was joined by Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy, Assistant Attorney General Michael Reisman, and Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General Gina Bull for the duration of the review.

Leave a Comment