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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield hosts community mental health discussion

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Posted at 6:43 AM, Mar 29, 2023

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is hosting a community discussion on mental health Wednesday.

The conversation comes in the wake of multiple traumatic events in Buffalo over the last 10 months.

It is part of the #WeareHope initiative, a new collaboration of organizations starting conversations about mental health and grief coping mechanisms.

Local leaders in the behavioral health space will lead the conversation, engaging the community through a public question and answer forum.

They'll ask questions like, "what have we learned from these tragedies?" And, "what do we need to move forward?"

Panelists include:

  • Melissa Archer, PMHNP-BC, BSN, Buffalo Urban League
  • Amanda P. Budwine, LCSW-R, Jericho Road Community Health Center
  • Cameron Burns, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator, Crisis Services
  • Robert L. Cannata, MSW LCSW, Spectrum Health & Human Services
  • Kelly D. Dumas, LCSW, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Inc
  • Vinnette Folkes, Endeavor Health
  • Patrick Greene LMHC, Horizon Health Services
  • Dr. Jennifer Lewis Johnson, Reimagine: I am The Change!, WNY Field Office of Mental Health
  • Sylvia Lane, MS, Say Yes to Education Buffalo
  • Mark O'Brien, Erie County Dept of Mental Health

The conversation runs from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday March 29 at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York on Genesee Street in Buffalo.
There is free parking in the visitor's lot.

Registration for this event is required. You can do so here.

Help is always available if you are struggling with your mental health.

You can call your local crisis services:

  • Erie County - (716) 834-3131
  • Niagara County - (716) 285-3515
  • Genesee County - (585) 283-5200

You can also call the National Suicide Hotline at 988.