Modified: May 31, 2019 11:15am

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The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition has been honored by the New York State Office of Mental Health (“OMH”) as a recipient of the inaugural OMH Community Care Awards. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and these awards are given during this month to recognize the extraordinary achievements of individuals and organizations that further the OMH mission and make positive contributions to the mental health system in their communities.


“The Erie County Department of Mental Health is very proud to be a part of the Anti-Stigma Coalition and this campaign, which was established to educate the community and stimulate conversations about mental health awareness. Our goal was to create a lasting campaign that would break down the barriers created by the stigma that surrounds mental illness, and I thank the NYS OMH for the Community Care Award and their recognition of the work we are doing here,” said Erie County Commissioner of Mental Health Michael Ranney. “Our office was the first to provide funding for this initiative and we remain absolutely committed to this campaign and coalition while we spread the anti-stigma message further. We are asking everyone to please join the conversation about mental health awareness and take the pledge to end the stigma of mental illness.  Please visit LetsTalkStigma.org  and take the pledge now!”


The Coalition’s website and social media platforms engage the public and encourage individuals to learn about mental health and take a pledge to end the stigma of mental illness.  To date, more than 1,800 individuals have taken this pledge. The Coalition also provides valuable information regarding resources in the community as well as individual stories of struggles and successes.  The sixteen founding Coalition members consist of a cross section of agencies in the community as well as Erie County government.


NYS Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “OMH is fortunate to have many great partners across the State who are helping us raise awareness of mental health issues and fight against the stigma surrounding mental illness and treatment. The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition is doing excellent work educating the public, providing valuable information about resources in the community and sharing stories about people’s successes on the road to recovery. Its work is increasing access to mental health care and addressing the challenges stigma creates for individuals seeking help.”


The Community Care Awards were created in 2019 to highlight OMH’s partners and stakeholders in local communities across NYS help to identify and eliminate gaps in services and are working to build strong community-based behavioral healthcare systems. Input from these local partners helps OMH better understand regional needs and implement programs that will help people on the road to recovery from mental illness live their lives with a greater degree of independence and dignity.

Approximately 1 in 5 Western New Yorkers are living with a mental health diagnosis, yet many of these people suffer in silence because of the discrimination that goes along with it. Join the conversation to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.


Take the Pledge by visiting https://letstalkstigma.org/  



For more information:



On the Erie County Department of Mental Health, visit http://www2.erie.gov/mentalhealth/


On the NYS Office of Mental Health, visit https://www.omh.ny.gov/