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Investing in mental health care in a rural community

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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A new facility for outpatient behavioral health services opened in Gowanda.  WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the important mental health services will reach adults and children in the rural communities of southern Erie County. 

The commissioner of state Office of Mental Health (OMH), Dr. Ann Sullivan, helped cut a symbolic purple ribbon inside the Zoar Valley Recovery and Treatment Center in downtown Gowanda.

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Dr. Ann Sullivan, commissioner of NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH).

This new facility is providing a number of services through the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center. 

Mental Health Commissioner Sullivan calls it an investment in mental health and care for those living with mental illness.

“But there really is no health without mental health and the importance of having these services here in the community, easily accessible for anyone who needs them is just so, so important and we are really very proud, as the Office of Mental Health, to be able to make some of that happen. Part of the wonderful thing about this facility is also children’s services are here as well,” remarked Sullivan.

“Everybody here has just been wonderful. I am so grateful that they’ve always been available to me no matter what time,” stated Linda, a client of the clinic.    

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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A woman, identified as Linda, appeared at the grand opening to share her story.

The woman, identified as only Linda, appeared at the grand opening to share her story of how she has benefited from the clinic’s work over the last nine years.

“And the staff here have helped me through several – actually many – emotional crisis’s in my life that could have left me crippled emotionally. That they’ve always been here from me and these things could have rendered me incapable to function,” Linda declared.

Ground was broken two years ago to construct the state of the art, $1.5-million clinic. The new facility doubled the treatment center space from its former site in the village of Gowanda.  

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