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Higgins: $800,000 for BestSelf to expand mental health and domestic abuse services in Western New York

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Fri, Jul 24th 2020 11:50 am

Federal funding boosts ability to respond to crisis situations exacerbated by COVID

Congressman Brian Higgins announced the award of $800,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to BestSelf Behavioral Health to expand current efforts to prevent suicide and assist victims of domestic violence.

“Mental health and the well-being of our community members are a primary concern at all times, the COVID-19 pandemic has only further heightened these concerns,” Higgins said. “This funding will help BestSelf continue the great work they do of providing mental health services to Western New Yorkers, while also expanding their current capabilities.”

The “BestSelf Enhanced Response for Suicide Prevention & Domestic Violence Project” will enhance services and support for individuals aged 25 and up who may be at-risk of suicidal ideation and behavior as well as victims of domestic violence in Erie County. By the end of the 16-month project period, BestSelf estimates serving 600 individuals

Elizabeth Woike-Ganga, LCSW-R, president/CEO BestSelf Behavioral Health, said, “BestSelf welcomes this opportunity to rapidly address the pressing issue of increases in suicides and domestic violence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will allow us to work with our local partners to quickly intervene with individuals and families at risk and promote a safer and healthier community."

Utilizing this federal funding, BestSelf plans to enhance care coordination for individuals who have survived a suicide attempt; provide comprehensive care management and victim advocacy for victims of domestic violence including linkage to existing services in Erie County, linkage to treatment and services both at BestSelf and in the community; treatment using evidenced-based practices such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavior therapy for suicide prevention (CBT-SP); follow-up including safety planning, community suicide prevention and mental health training; and support groups for survivors of suicide attempts.

Residents can reach out to BestSelf Behavioral Health 24/7 by calling 716-884-0888 or using the online web chat at www.bestselfwny.org.

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