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WATCH: "Finding Home" A discussion on Mental Health and Housing in Buffalo

One of the largest issues individuals with mental illness face is the availability and accessibility of housing.

The lack of safe and affordable place to live is a tremendous barrier to recovery and to the prevention of homelessness, hospitalization, and movement through the criminal justice system.

Unhoused individuals living with mental illness face a variety of obstacles that are intersected and exacerbated by the lack of affordable and accessible services in the region.

As part of ourMental Health Initiative, WBFO News Director Dave Debo hosted  “Finding Home,” a panel discussion on issues surrounding the lack of housing options for those living with mental illness. This conversation (WATCH IT BELOW)  included an overview of the current work to combat the closing of housing options, the housing landscape in the greater Buffalo area for individuals with mental illness, and effects of the housing shortages.

The panel included Mark O’Brien, Erie County Commissioner of Mental Health, Christine Slocum,Housing Coordinator at Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI) serving Erie County Department of Mental Health,Kelly Dumas, LCSW, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer at BestSelf Behavioral Health; and community member and advocate Patricia Seifert.

The WBFO Mental Health Initiative is supported by The Patrick P. Lee Foundation