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Crisis Services Announces Leadership Team Promotions and New Hire

We are pleased to announce the promotions and addition of the following personnel to our Leadership Team, effective immediately.

Director Promotions

Tracie Bussi, LMSW, has been promoted to Director of Emergency Mental Health Response Program; Robyn Wiktorski-Reynolds,LMSW, has been promoted to Director of the Advocate Program and Rachel Morrison, LMHC-P, has been promoted to Director of the Crisis Counseling and Outreach to the Homeless Programs. All three had formerly served as Coordinators for their respective programs. Ms. Bussi has been with Crisis Services for 18 years, Ms. Wiktorski-Reynolds for 9 years and Ms. Morrison for 11 years.

Rebecca Stevens, MA, has been promoted to Program Supervisor of the Advocate Program and Kristin Adduci, LMHC has been promoted to Program Supervisor of the Emergency Mental Health Response Services. Both served as Senior Supervising Counselors of their respective programs.

Barbara Gasiewicz was promoted to Chief Financial Officer, having served as Fiscal Manager for the past two years.

In a press release dated January 13, 2015, Jessica C. Pirro, Crisis Services newly appointed CEO remarked “I am honored to have an amazing team of intelligent, hard working, mission driven women to help run the operations of Crisis Services. It is rare to have a collection of talents coupled with longevity of service to an organization.  Their commitment is a true asset and Crisis Services is fortunate to have to them as part of our team to lead our crisis first responders in helping those in our community.”

Heather Stronner, LMSW, was promoted to Program Supervisor of the   Crisis Counseling and Outreach to the Homeless Programs. Heather formerly served as the Clinic Afterhours Counselor for the Crisis Counseling Program.

Crisis Services also welcomes to our Leadership Team Shelly Marabella, LMHC, Program Supervisor of the newly formed Mobile Transitional Support Program that is part of our Emergency Mental Health Response Program.



New Program added to Mobile Outreach/Trauma Response Program

A new Mobile Transitional Support (MTS) Program joins our existing Mobile Outreach Program and Trauma Response Program as part of Crisis Services Emergency Mental Health Response Services under the leadership of Tracie Bussi, LMSW.

Shelly Marabella, LMHC, has joined Crisis Services as the new Program Supervisor for MTS.

MTS provides mobile clinical intervention and support for individuals discharged from Buffalo Psychiatric Center or Erie County Medical Center, during the time frame when discharged individuals are making the post-discharge transition to linkage and secure engagement in the community-based services and supports identified in their discharge plan.  Upon referral, individuals are assigned to a team, consisting of one Licensed Mental Health Provider and one Peer Specialist, who work with a caseload of 10-15 individuals.  In order to fill a gap in service availability, the teams are available to assist the individual during non-traditional hours (holidays, weekends, and afterhours). The service is identified as a necessary  part of the comprehensive, integrated and proactive pre-discharge plan for community transition.  Individuals identified as benefiting from this service meet the MTS team multiple times prior to discharge and the MTS team is part of the discharge planning process where transition plans will be developed.

The program is in its final stages of implementation and services will begin March 1st.

Jessica C. Pirro Named CEO of Crisis Services

BUFFALO,  NY (November 17, 2014) — The Board of Directors of Suicide Prevention and   Crisis Service, Inc. (Crisis Services) is pleased to announce the appointment ofPirro colorJessica C. Pirro, LMSW, as Chief Executive Officer, effective November 14, 2014. In a statement released Monday, R, Scott Atwater, President of Crisis Services’ Board of Directors, said  “We look to Jessica to lead our agency as we continue in our current direction and strengthen our   services as Western New York’s most comprehensive crisis center, particularly as the behavioral health environment continues to change and evolve. She brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and compassion to the   table.”

After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in child and family studies and social work, respectively, from Syracuse  University, Ms. Pirro moved to Buffalo in 1997, and began at Crisis Services in 1999. She held two program management positions  until she was promoted in 2006 to Associate Director. She was responsible for all clinical operations of the agency’s four programs that provide numerous services to those in crisis, 24 hours a day.

Ms. Pirro has been involved in a number of coalitions to address the community response to family violence and sexual assault. She served as the secretary from 1999-2000 and Chair from 2000-2002 of the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence.  She was the recipient of the 2002 Erie County Commission on the Status of Women  Organizational Partner of the Year Award and was awarded the Justice, Freedom and Courage Award to End Domestic Violence in October 2003 by New York State Governor George Pataki. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Erie County Coordinated  Community Response to Family Violence 2005 and served on the  advisory committee that founded Erie County’s Family Justice Center.  She was honored in 2007 with the Buffalo News Founders Award as part of the team that helped to open the Family Justice Center for Buffalo and Erie County. In 2007, she was a nominee for the YWCA of WNY Leader Luncheon Award and in 2008 received Advocate for Change award from the It Happened to Alexa Foundation. In 2010, she received a Business First 40 Under Forty award.

She is a graduate of Leadership Buffalo’s Class of 2003 and, in 2011 she earned a certificate from Harvard Business School in performance measurement for effective management of  nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Ms. Pirro has been accepted into the Health Leadership Fellows Program, Class of 2014 through the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York.

She has served on several not for profit boards, including as past President of the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault and as past Treasurer of the Parkside Community Association.

For over 46 years, Crisis Services has been dedicated to providing immediate intervention and access to services for suicide prevention, emergency mental health, domestic violence, sexual assault and the homeless, and is at the nexus of the changing health care landscape. As CEO, Ms. Pirro will partner with the Board of Directors to advance Crisis Services’ mission of providing a comprehensive safety net for Erie County residents in crisis.


Real People. Real Voices. Real Help. LaTasha’s Story.

LaTasha talks about coming to understand that she no longer has to play a role in the domestic violence that was a part of her life before Crisis Services.  Listen to her story.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Crisis Services is making a difference.  You can help!  Make your secure online contribution here and know that your gift to the Fall Appeal will provide for meaningful change in someone’s life.  Someone like Tony or Bernadette.   Thank you!

To listen to all of the Real People. Real Voices. Real Help videos, click here.

Real People. Real Voices. Real Help.

Listen.  Listen closely.  From every corner of our community you can hear them.  The voices of people touched.  Their stories, their pain, their courage.

The voices of those touched by tremendous loss and the voices of those pulled out of darkness.  Collectively these voices tell a story.  A story that started more than forty years ago but one that resonates even more strongly today.  A story that inspires many to want to help and many more that want to give.  We think you’ll want to give too.

Hear what people have to say about their personal experiences with Crisis Services — these first hand accounts are as moving as they are inspiring — and see what your support can do!

Real People. Real Voices. Real Help. – The Full Chorus on Vimeo.

If you’d like to add your own voice to the solution, please support the Crisis Services Fall Appeal Campaign today by making a secure online contribution today.

Thank you!

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