Mental Health Musings: ECMC receives grants

Editor’s note: Mental Health Musings (MHM) will focus on community resources and stories throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Erie County Medical Center announced May 26 that it has received funding from three local institutions to expand two outpatient behavioral health initiatives.

The funds will be used to develop an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and expand ECMC’s Help Center operating hours.

“As the region’s leader in comprehensive behavioral health services, we are committed to developing and implementing programs such as IOP and further expanding existing services such as the Help Center that will provide critical care to residents of western New York and save lives,” said Thomas Quatroche Jr. ECMC President and CEO, in a press release.

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, Patrick P. Lee Foundation, and John R. Oishei Foundation have donated $258,118 totaling $774,354 to these two programs over five years.

The IOP model is a step down from inpatient settings, such as ECMC’s partial hospitalization program, but it is a step forward from traditional outpatient programs.

The new program will provide access to medication and counseling services, with each patient participating in individual, group and family psychotherapy.

The IOP creates an alternative to inpatient hospitalization and may help shorten the necessary length of hospital stay, according to a press release.

The ECMC Help Center is an outpatient crisis clinic that helps struggling individuals to function either as a short-term service or as a bridge connecting people to long-term solutions through social workers.

The Help Center’s current operating hours are 8am to 10pm Monday through Friday and 10am to 6pm on weekdays. Funding will extend these hours.

“Now more than ever before, behavioral health services are an important part of our community’s well-being,” Esther Annan, Program Officer at John R. O’Shea Foundation, said in a press release. “We believe ECMC’s expanded services will provide the care that is needed in WNY and we are excited to join our fellow funders.” To support these outpatient initiatives.

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