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Attorney General James to hold public hearing on mental health access in Western New York


Mon, Jan 9th 2023 02:25 pm

Hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 18, in Buffalo 

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her office will hold its second in-person public hearing concerning the provision of mental health care for people with serious mental illness in the Western New York Region. The hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, and members of the public, advocacy groups and health care providers are encouraged to testify. Individuals who wish to provide oral testimony at the hearing must submit their testimony online in writing by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11. Written testimony will be accepted online through Jan. 18.

“New York is battling a mental health crisis in every town, in every county, and in every region. Any solution must address the concerns of all New Yorkers, from Buffalo to Brooklyn,” James said. “As we continue to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 and the immense tragedy facing Western New Yorkers, it is imperative that complete mental health services are available to our communities. Hearing from those with first-hand experience navigating our mental health care systems will better inform recommended solutions for New Yorkers in need.”

This will be James’ second public hearing on mental health. The first public hearing was held in June 2022 in New York City, and primarily focused on issues impacting the downstate region.

Through these hearings, the attorney general aims to gain insight from the public regarding the problems people suffering mental health crises or chronic severe mental illness experience in accessing mental health services and use that information for legislative and enforcement solutions.

The hearing will be held in the Mason O. Damon auditorium at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. It will be viewable to the public via livestream.

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