Crisis Services is working around the clock to respond to the impact COVID-19 is having in our community. As your only 24-hour Crisis Center, we are here to answer the call!
While the uncertainty of this public health crisis has added a layer to our work, our systems are set to ensure a seamless response. We are proud to say that our agency has never closed its doors during 51 years of service to you. We will not let this pandemic affect our mission now. Our Leadership Team has been working diligently to adapt our infrastructure to a blend of on-site work as an essential community service while ensuring safe physical distance for staff, as well as remote work. We continue to ensure the safety and well-being of our crisis first responders as they care for the well-being of others.
Crisis Services recognizes that this is a very difficult time for all in our community, our state, and across the globe. While we anticipate an increase in call volume, we will be ready to respond to this traumatic situation. Fear, anxiety, disruption to our routine, and compromised feelings of safety are a new reality for us all. We want you to know that you are not alone.
During these uncertain times, it is normal to have a wide range of emotions, responses, and reactions. A stressful event can have an impact on anyone, and especially for those with preexisting mental health conditions that stand at greater risk of infection. Our team of trained counselors is ready to offer you support and guidance. Crisis Services is here to remind you to continue with all treatments, medications, and resources to ensure that your recovery remains a priority.
Here’s what our CEO, Jessica Pirro, had to stay regarding the hard work of our team as well as the status and operations of Crisis Services:
And here is where our services stand as of Tuesday, March 24th:
24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 716-834-3131
Anyone of any age who is experiencing a personal, emotional or mental health crisis can call 24 hours a day. Our Hotline Counselors are dedicated to providing the best services to every caller. Our Hotline Counselors are trained in telephone lethality assessments to assess the level of individual risk and to determine the appropriate level of services. We provide crisis counseling, suicide prevention, support, information, and referral. We triage each call in order of emergency, so please be patient and stay on the line, your call is very important to us.
24-Hour Addiction Hotline: 716-831-7007
The Addiction Hotline is available for people living in Erie County. Professionals are standing by to link callers to substance abuse treatment services and provide supportive counseling for the person addicted, friends and family. The Addiction Hotline delivers immediate engagement, assessment, and referral services for people suffering from a substance use disorder.
Kids’ Helpline: 716-834-1144 or 1-877-KIDS-400
The Kids Helpline is a part of the Crisis Counseling Program. These services are 24/7 and offer immediate response and information on a variety of issues related to youth and their families.
Chautauqua County Hotline: 1-800-724-0461
Chautauqua County Mental Health contracts with Crisis Services to manage that County’s 24-hour mental health hotline. Services include immediate crisis intervention, supportive counseling, information & referrals and connection with services if immediate on-site intervention is needed.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL): 1-800-273-8255
NSPL is a nationwide network of over 140 crisis centers. Calls originating from anywhere in the country will be routed, 24-hours a day, to the nearest available crisis center. This call routing is based on crisis center capacity and availability. Crisis Services is a dedicated NSPL crisis center for WNY. If you need to connect to a crisis center outside of the Buffalo and Erie County area, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can assist you with connecting you to your local crisis center.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Crisis Hotline Support
Rape and Sexual Assault: Our 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (716-834-3131) is readily available to help anyone dealing with rape, sexual violence and abuse.
24-Hour Erie County Domestic Violence Helpline: 716-862-HELP
NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906
The Advocate Department provides confidential response and support for survivors of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, family violence and elder abuse – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Advocate Department is committed to empowering survivors of domestic/family/sexual violence and elder abuse and support their needs for safety and support, during this time especially during this time of physical isolation and sheltering in place.
COMMUNITY RESPONSE SERVICES
Emergency Mental Health Response Services (EMHRS) are fully operational.
The Mobile Outreach Program is the mobile unit of Erie County Medical Center’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP). This program provides community-based mental health intervention to individuals in Erie County who are experiencing a mental health crisis. The main goal of the program is to divert individuals from unnecessary presentations at local psychiatric emergency rooms and to provide these individuals the services they need in order to remain safely in the community. Services are available 24 hours a day by calling 716-834-3131 and asking for an Outreach Counselor.
Our other programs under the EMHRS department include our Trauma Response Services, Crisis Intervention Team Training and Crisis Case Management and our Mobile Transitional Support Services. All services are still operational with appropriate precautions for the clients we serve and the team that are supporting them. We are adapting to the needs of our clients and providing more phone intervention or video communication as needed. In high risk and emergent situations, a physical response will be provided.
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program
Crisis Services oversees the SANE Nurses for the Catholic and Kaleida Health Systems. Our SANE nurses are still responding to cases of Rape and Sexual Assault that need a forensic evidence collection kit completed.
RESTRICTED SERVICE DUE TO COVID-19
Our Advocate Department services include the response to all Erie County Hospitals for victims of domestic and sexual violence. With the limitations set by our Erie County Hospitals, our ability to physically respond has been restricted to phone intervention at this time. If you present at the emergency department and are experiencing domestic or sexual violence, the hospital will arrange for our Advocate Staff to be contacted by phone to provide support, safety planning and discuss follow up telephonic case management services.
We have been in awe of the support from our community and partners as our Crisis First Responders remain operational on the front lines to continue to protect our community’s mental health and well-being. We appreciate your support and investment in our mission during these uncertain times.
Continue to stay connected through our social media and website and consider a donation towards our mission. Your support helps us going! Stay healthy, safe and know you are not alone!