Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Inc. began operation in November of 1968 after two years of strategic planning by the Mental Health Association, the Psychological Association of WNY, the Community Welfare Council, and the Erie County Department of Mental Health. It was developed to have broader purposes and concerns in the area of emergency mental health services than currently available by offering a 24/7 response.
The service was designed to fill the community’s need for an innovative unit that would explore new methods of treating and assisting people in emotional crisis through a variety of therapeutic services. It was to also provide training and educational programs in crisis intervention and have a comprehensive research component supporting the whole service. Crisis Services exists to fill the same needs today, but has adapted service delivery with respect to social needs and funding.
Crisis Services of Erie County is the most comprehensive crisis center in upstate New York. Crisis Services fulfills community needs through the following program services:
- 24 Hour Hotline – Crisis Counseling Program
- Emergency Mobile Outreach Services
- Trauma Response Services
- The Advocate Program- Rape, Domestic Violence, Family Violence and Elder Abuse
- Outreach to the Homeless
- Community Education and Training
- Police/Mental Health Coordination Project
Crisis Services works to be the best agency to address issues related to emergency mental health by decreasing hospitalizations, suicides, violence, homelessness and other issues that accompany these social ills.
Crisis Services has more than fulfilled the aspirations and proposals set forth many years ago. It has grown and developed to be an important link in the network of critical services provided by Erie County. Crisis Services is equipped with state-of-the-art fiber optic telecommunication resources and uses an extensive directory of programs to provide information and referral to callers. Crisis Services is certified by the American Association of Suicidology, we are the NYS Deptartment of Health Designated Rape Crisis Center, and a NYS Approved Non-Residential Domestic Violence Service Provider.
The credit for our success goes to our excellent staff and volunteers who work long and difficult hours to provide these services. This comprehensive care is provided by 80 full and part-time staff with the support of 75 professionally trained volunteers. We are fortunate to have people dedicated to this work and who demonstrate commitment to improving the quality of life in Erie County.
Jessica C. Pirro, LMSW
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Fund Development Coordinator