The Erie County Department of Mental Health (ECDMH), in partnership with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the Community for Greater Buffalo’s Racial Equity Roundtable, has created the Erie County Service Link Stop at 120 West Eagle Street in Buffalo to connect individuals leaving detention with a comprehensive set of services to help them stabilize in the community and lead better, healthier lives. Daemen College’s Department of Social Work and Sociology is one of the participating agencies on-site.
Established in the offices of ECDMH’s Forensic Mental Health Services, many participating agencies are on-site to assist individuals in identifying their needs and ensuring that they are linked to resources in a wide range of areas, including mental health, substance abuse prevention, health screenings, education, and more.
“Having these services in place and immediately available when individuals need them diminishes recidivism and helps people get on a more stable track in the community, with better outcomes and better health,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.
“The Service Link Stop is an important collaborative, which is changing life outcomes of individuals served by our criminal justice systems,” said Maggie Dreyer, director of field education and clinical instructor for Daemen’s social work and sociology department. “Our joint effort is giving students an opportunity to implement evidenced based interventions with this population while engaged in their field work.”
In addition to the Erie County Department of Mental Health, Erie County Forensic Mental Health, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, and Daemen College’s Department of Social Work and Sociology, participating agencies on-site at the Service Link Stop include Spectrum Human Services, Fidelis Care, Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, Center for Employment Opportunities, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Jewish Family Services, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Community Health Center Buffalo, Pathstones and more. Referrals to additional agencies are also available.
“The Service Link Stop engages in shared decision-making in order to facilitate outcomes for participants that arrive through criminal justice involvement for community re-entry. It also serves walk-ins for anyone in need for assistance in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Director of Intensive Adult Mental Health Services Ronald Schoelerman. “We will continue to maintain a ‘no wrong door’ approach with recipients, providing a path toward increased stability with healthy outcomes.”
The Service Link Stop is person-centered, meeting each individual “where they are” and offering opportunities for personal empowerment. Professionals work with individuals in a holistic way to identify and meet their various needs, including personal, familial, educational, vocational, health, and other needs. Then they engage in shared decision-making and collective action to facilitate individual, organizational, and community outcomes. The stop’s data-driven process uses information to guide case work, especially as it relates to accessibility, programming, and quality of care, and focuses on being future-oriented in order to be more equitable and restorative and find solutions that lead to positive change.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Mental Health, visit https://www2.erie.gov/mentalhealth/.