MHA in Chautauqua County responds to community’s mental health, substance abuse needs

Give 716

(WIVB) — After an unprecedented year, many non-profits have seen a drop in funding.

To help, the Buffalo Bills Foundation and Buffalo Sabres Foundation are uniting sports fans and western New Yorkers for Give 716 — a big day of help for non-profits in our area.

It goes without saying that the effects of the pandemic are too great to measure, particularly for those with mental health issues or those working through substance abuse recovery. No one knows this better than Jenny Rowe — the chief financial officer of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County.

“Especially with COVID, it brought out a lot of mental health and substance abuse,” Rowe says. “It was a huge increase last year. Because we’re isolated, we aren’t leaving home. We can’t. It’s elevated quite a bit because of COVID.”

With two locations that foster one-on-one counseling, peer support, PTSD groups and more, the non-profit serving through hope, advocacy and recovery realizes they can do nothing without community support. So, Rowe is excited to see how western New York, having re-emerged on the other side of the pandemic, steps to the plate.

“The funds that we are hoping for, for this Give 716, are gonna go directly to helping the people we work with,” Rowe says. “And it could be a phone card. It could be boots for work. It could be toiletries — shampoo and conditioner, things that, let’s say, your food stamps wouldn’t buy.”

They also urge anyone in need of their services to reach out, since they offer a wide range of support.

“Yeah, we do a lot of everything, and at this location, we have multiple support groups,” she says. Typically, when you think of support groups, you think of NA or AA, but here we have Women’s Group, SPACE, which is a suicide prevention group. We have a lot of trauma groups, as well. And the majority of our groups are on Zoom, as well, so you don’t have to physically be at our location to access these groups. You can also go online.”

If you or someone you know needs to reach out for help with mental health or substance abuse, feel free to learn more about MHA by clicking or tapping here.

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