Crisis hotline adds Orleans County

Posted 2 January 2017 at 8:55 pm

Press Release, YWCA of Genesee County

BATAVIA – Just two years after launching the Care+Crisis Helpline throughout Genesee County, YWCA will be adding another component of the GLOW region to its list of customers as of Jan. 1, 2017.

Helpline staff has surpassed initial goals by thousands, with more than 14,780 calls and Live Chats taken in 2016. The addition of Orleans, a county bordering the northern section of Bergen west to Alabama, will mean the potential for thousands more calls fielded by trained Helpline specialists 24 hours a day.

This is a tremendous opportunity to offer Orleans County residents the same life-saving services and support that has been provided to Genesee County since Jan. 1, 2015, Helpline Program Manager Holly Baxter said.

“This includes working to prevent the suicide of those who are actively suicidal and to offer hope and caring to people in crisis,” Baxter said. “Every person in Orleans County who is going through a crisis can now find the help, support and encouragement that they need to solve their problems and have hope for tomorrow 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

YWCA is not the first agency to join forces with Orleans County – it has happened with Community Action and Mental Health Association to name two – and this partnership will only enhance the human services already available there, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

“Care+Crisis Helpline staff is continuously trained and updated on all forms of crisis, from substance abuse and terminal illness to domestic violence and mental health issues,” Walton said. “We are grateful to Orleans County officials for allowing us the opportunity to share this expertise in a compassionate way through the Helpline.”

There are several reasons why this move makes sense, said Mark O’Brien, director of Mental Health and Community Services at Orleans County. First and foremost, the Helpline has a “strong record” of successfully working with Genesee County.

“We do a lot of shared services and coordination with Genesee County Mental Health. We share constituents and consumers between our agencies,” he said. “The Helpline has an ability to handle a greater volume of calls and make referrals as needed. It supports our efforts to be more community-based and accessible.”

Orleans County Mental Health has made great strides in offering access to the public, including a satellite office at each of the five county school districts. His agency has Mobile Mental Health Crisis teams that serve children and adults, and ongoing cooperative efforts with county law enforcement.

“The Care+Crisis Helpline will be a primary way to triage and activate them,” O’Brien said. “This combines it all into one place.”

The Helpline is available 24/7 for any type of crisis and is free and confidential for callers. For more information, call toll-free at (844) 345-4400 or (585) 344-4400 or go to and click on the Live Chat box that appears.

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