Mental Health Epidemic In Chautauqua County

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Mental health and wellness affects everyone daily, and some may need extra support but aren’t receiving it. 

The fact of the matter is that there are more people struggling with mental health issues than there are resources available, according to those at the Mental Health Association. 

“People reaching out for help, for support, mental health issues, calls to suicide hotlines, crisis lines, those have all increased, so we have seen an increase in those numbers, yes,” explained Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua Steven Cobb. “I’m always afraid to use the word crisis but I do think that we’re at a time and point where a lot of people in our community are realizing that they do need some extra help for their mental health. There have been enormous societal changes that have happened, and a lot of that since COVID, that has really put strain on the fabric that is society.”

Despite the shortages of professionals, those struggling are still urged to reach out for help.

“We are experiencing staffing issues with clinicians and counselors, and that’s something that is universal, kind of across all areas in this country of ours. But I will say that should not be something that keeps you from going and getting connected to someone at one of our local clinics,” said Cobb.

While professional guidance is helpful, having a friend or family member reach out is an important aspect.

“I think one of the things that’s most important for people to remember is that if somebody is reaching out and talking to us, we as the person they’re reaching out to, have the tools necessary to be a part of that initial support,”

Those struggling with mental health issues are encouraged to reach out to resources such as the M.H.A for support. However, if you’re in need of immediate help please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-8255 or the Chautauqua County Crisis Line at 800-724-0461.




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