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On January 18, New York Attorney General Letitia James's office held its second in-person public hearing concerning the provision of mental health care for people with serious mental illness in the Western New York Region. The purpose of the hearing was to gain insight from the public regarding the problems people suffering mental health crises or chronic severe mental illness experience in accessing mental health services and use that information for legislative and enforcement solutions.
The Conference greatly appreciated the opportunity to have Chair, Laura Kelemen, LCSW-R, Niagara County Director of Community Services, present oral testimony at the hearing. Her testimony highlighted a variety of barriers to access to services, including workforce shortage, inadequate Medicaid reimbursement, and unavailability of hospital inpatient beds.