Mental Health Advocates of WNY released a comprehensive local community resource guide for the eight counties amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, this event is becoming a mental health crisis as well as physical health crisis with the stress and anxiety that a lot of people are feeling,” said Carol Doggett, senior director of marketing, communication and outreach at Mental Health Advocates of WNY.
The informational referral specialists at Mental Health Advocates of WNY are used to getting calls daily by members of the public on how to navigate the mental and behavioral health care system, said Doggett.
The resource guide created because of COVID-19 builds upon the work that Mental Health Advocates of WNY already does.
“We really took this opportunity to take a look at that list and make it really community-related,” she said. “When I say community I do mean the eight counties of Western New York.”
The resource guide includes adult and children resources that promote mental health and mental wellness at the local level.
It includes information on childcare, entertainment, fitness, food banks, crafts, and projects as well as information on behavioral health care like crisis supports and addiction resources.
“We wanted it to be a local, Western New York community resource guide that had a mental health wellness focus,” Doggett said. “The calls that come into us are from people in our community, we serve our community.”
While the bulk of resources are hyper-local, there are some resources that exist outside of the eight counties such as mindfulness, education and entertainment, but they can be digitally accessed. However, the emphasis remains on promoting local resources.
“People are feeling isolated and to know that there is somebody or someplace in your neighborhood or your community that you can rely on and turn to can also provide some comfort,” Doggett said. “We need to be community-focused.”
Mental Health Advocates of WNY updates the resource guide as it learns new information. If members of the public have any content suggestions or corrections, Doggett asks the public to contact them at 716-886-1242.
To email content suggestions or corrections contact, Bridget at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The resource guide is embedded below, you can also visit Mental Health Advocates of WNY’s website for more information.