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Mental health services are just a call away

'The common thread is that if you call here, the first thing that you're going to get is a trained counselor that's going to listen to what's going on.'

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Mental health experts locally told 2 On Your Side it's important people who are struggling know that they're not alone and that there are resources to help.

Jessica Pirro, the CEO of Crisis Services, said every day, they receive hundreds of calls from people. She added that you don't have to be in a heightened crisis to reach out.

Pirro explained their trained professionals will be there to provide immediate support.

"When somebody is having thoughts of suicide, we are going to intervene to the extreme that we can, for sure. But a lot of times people just want to talk about what's going on, and it's OK to call our hotline and remain anonymous when doing so," Pirro said. 

And that's not the only crisis line available.

For example, Spectrum Health and Human Services also offers emotional support on a few different helplines.

"The common thread is that if you call here, the first thing that you're going to get is a trained counselor that's going to listen to what's going on," said Bob Cannata, the vice president of Crisis Response Services at Spectrum Health and Human Services.

Cannata said the reasons for calling can vary.

He explained, "It's OK to call and say, 'Hi, my name is Bob. I'm not even sure why I'm calling. I'm not sure what I'm feeling. I'm not sure what I'm going through, but I know I just don't want to be alone right now,' or, 'I know I just don't want to solve this myself.' " 

Pirro told 2 On Your Side that when it comes to helping people you know, you should understand the risk factors, notice warning signs, and be there for support.

"As family and friends, I think it really is just a simple statement of, 'I'm here for you. I would like for you to talk to me about what's going on. I see that you're struggling. I'm here to listen,' and let them talk," Pirro said. 

From there, she said you can help determine what are the best next steps.

"We want to encourage people to reach out for help. We know that people struggle for many years before they make that first phone call, and so we're hoping that making that first phone call today will help start to alleviate that pain, and that struggle, and start to get the help and support that they deserve," Pirro said. 

Information: Mental Health Education

Let's Talk Stigma: https://letstalkstigma.org/

Erie County

  • Crisis Services Hotline: 716-834-3131
  • Addiction Hotline: 716-831-7007
  • Spectrum Health & Human Services, 716-710-5172
  • C.A.R.E.S. for youth and families in crisis is 716-882-4357

Chautauqua County

  • Crisis Services Hotline: 1-800-724-0461

Niagara County

  • Crisis Services Hotline: 716-285-3515

Allegany County

  • Teen Hotline: 1-888-44-TEENS (1-888-448-3367)

Genesee County, Orleans County, and Wyoming County 

  • Spectrum Health & Human Services C.A.R.E.S 585-283-5200 

Cattaraugus County

  • Crisis Line: 1-800-339-5209

New York State

  • NYS OASAS HOPELINE: 877-846-7369

National Hotlines

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1 or Text 838255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741