Attorney General James to Hold Public Hearing on Mental Health Access in Western New York

Hearing Scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, at 11 AM in Buffalo 

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office will hold 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 hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, at 11 AM at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, and members of the public, advocacy groups, and healthcare providers are encouraged to attend. Individuals who wish to provide oral testimony at the hearing must submit their request to testify online and include a brief summary of the testimony they intend to share by 5 PM on Wednesday, January 11. Written testimony will be accepted online through January 18.

“New York is battling a mental health crisis in every town, in every county, and in every region. Any solution must address the concerns of all New Yorkers, from Buffalo to Brooklyn,” said Attorney General James. “As we continue to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 and the immense tragedy facing Western New Yorkers, it is imperative that complete mental health services are available to our communities. Hearing from those with first-hand experience navigating our mental health care systems will better inform recommended solutions for New Yorkers in need.”

This will be Attorney General James’ second public hearing on mental health. The first public hearing was held in June 2022 in New York City, and primarily focused on issues impacting the downstate region.

Through these hearings, Attorney General James aims 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 hearing will be held in the Mason O. Damon auditorium at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY, 14203. Individuals who wish to provide oral testimony at the hearing must submit and a brief summary of the testimony they intend to share by 5 PM on Wednesday, January 11. Written testimony submissions will be accepted through January 18. Testimony may be submitted online. This is a regional hearing, and testimony will be limited to discussion of access to mental health care in Western New York.

The hearing will also be viewable to the public via livestream for those who are unable to attend in person.