WBFO Mental Health Initiative

WBFO's Mental Health Initiative is funded by the Patrick P. Lee Foundation.

A college student struggles with studies -- and untreated mental illness -- but is far from family members who might provide support. That combination can lead to suicide. And now schools nationwide are grappling with those situations -- and whether to notify parents about a student's problems.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Thursday, May 17, 2018 was officially declared Crisis Services Day in Buffalo by the city.  The center provides crucial services to the community.  Six months ago Crisis Services moved from Main Street in Buffalo to a new, larger space in Buffalo's riverside neighborhood on River Rock Drive. But an official ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was celebrated Thursday.

WBFO News photo from Lee Foundation video

A new mental health awareness campaign is featuring a bipartisan message.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins and Republican Congressman Tom Reed are coming together for the BeKind2TheMind.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

There is a mysterious story about woman who was once treated at the Buffalo State Asylum, the original psychiatric center at the Richardson Olmsted Campus, in the late 1800s. In our ongoing Mental Health reporting initiative, WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with a descendant who remains committed to finding out the truth about what happened to his relative.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Caring for the mentally ill in an institutional setting began in the Buffalo in the late 1800s at what was once the Buffalo State Asylum at Forest and Elmwood avenues. As part of our Mental Health Reporting Initiative, WBFO senior reporter Eileen Buckley explores the origins of the massive Richardson Olmsted Complex, built as a place of healing for the mentally ill.

Courtesy of NAMI Ohio

Wil Wheaton, an actor whose credits include "Stand By Me," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "The Big Bang Theory," gave a powerful speech recently about living with mental illness.

"My life is, by every objective measurement, very, very good," he said at a National Alliance on Mental Illness conference in Ohio.

"And in spite of all of that, I struggle every day with my self-esteem, my self-worth, and my value not only as an actor and writer, but as a human being.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Niagara Falls City Schools superintendent is being recognized for promoting mental wellness for students.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the New York State Office of Mental Health honored the Falls city school leader Tuesday in Albany.

A new HBO documentary tells a story about families with children who have psychiatric disorders that lead to violent behavior.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Students at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore tackled a difficult mental health issue through a stage play performed this past weekend.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says students wrote, directed, composed music and choreographed the two act musical called 'Army of One' with all proceeds going to a veteran organization. 


The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Buffalo & Erie Co. gave WBFO its President's Award on Thursday night, in recognition of the station's Mental Health Initiative.

The two-year project, funded by the Patrick P. Lee Foundation, provides in-depth coverage of mental health issues, including the stigma faced by people with mental illness. It will feature radio reports, online videos and Facebook Live events.

Governor's Office

The $17.7 million Packet Boat Landing Apartments in Lockport are now officially open.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Members of the mental health community are working to educate the public about recognizing mental illness.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Erie County and its partner’s kicked-off Mental Health Awareness Month Tuesday.  

Here are some of the events being held for Mental Health Awareness Month:

May 3 -- A mental health awareness fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the central library, 1 Lafayette Square in Buffalo.

May 3 -- The National Alliance for Mental Illness/Buffalo & Erie Co. will hold its annual dinner and awards celebration from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will be held at Salvatore's Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Rd, Depew. Keynote speaker Dr. Kafui Dzirasa will discuss his neuroscience research.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

May is observed as Mental Health Awareness month.  As part of our mental health reporting initiative WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says a bell was created more than six decades ago as a symbol and sign of hope.  

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

New York will become in July the first state to require mental health education as part of every school's curriculum. Dr. David Satcher, who served as the nation's Surgeon General under two former presidents, was in Buffalo Thursday to speak about mental health, battling the stigma many still attach to it and how mental health education may impact young people.


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Storytelling is being used to help break through the stigma of discussing mental health troubles. As part of our Mental Health reporting initiative, WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the Just Tell One campaign is designed to give youth and young adults a chance to start a conversation. 


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Since the Parkland, Florida school shooting there has been a high demand for Mental Health First Aid training in our community.  As part of our Mental Health reporting initiative, WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley attended a Mental Health First Aid session at Baker Victory Services in Lackawanna.

Kathy Doody

The State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities is holding another series of public forums across New York this month to help educate families about the critical change coming in the way services are provided.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

The leader of the Mental Health Association of New York State says the recently adopted state budget provides a 'mixed bag' of funding for programs.  But as WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley tells us it does provide state dollars to help schools launch mental health curriculums.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

It has been more than ten years since the Virginia Tech campus shootings, but the issue of mass school shootings remains at the forefront with recent events in Parkland, Florida.  A new play opens at Shea’s Smith Theatre in Buffalo Thursday evening, April 12th, called “Lit 401: A School Shooting in One Act”. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley says this play will depict an active shooter on stage and provide a talk-back conversation with the audience. 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

With one in four people struggling with a mental health disorder, it has become a growing concern in the workplace. As part of our Mental Health reporting Initiative, WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the Mental Health Association of Erie County has named a new director of workplace well-being.   

Dr. David Satcher, who has served as U.S. surgeon general and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be in Buffalo on April 26 to discuss New York's mental health education law.

Satcher will speak about the importance of mental health education, school safety, and his public health approach to address issues affecting youth.

He also is the founding director and senior advisor of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at  Morehouse School of Medicine.

The event will be held at SEIU Local 1199, 2421 Main St.

Teenagers with mental health troubles are at a greater risk of getting addicted when prescribed opioids. As part of our Mental Health Reporting Initiative WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked to an expert about these findings. 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The long-time principal at Mount St. Mary Academy in Kenmore has announced her retirement, saying she's wants to spend more time with her family. Dawn Riggie will be leaving after serving 25-years at the all-girls, Catholic high school. WBFO’s senior reporter met with Riggie to talk about her work and the strength of the school. 

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced what she says is the biggest single investment in mental health care in Canadian history.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Five area school districts recently participated in mental health workshops.  As part of our Mental Health reporting Initiative, WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says educators were given information about identifying signs and symptoms of mental health issues. 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Mental health and social-emotional behavior continues to take center stage in education.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley recently visited a preschool classroom where young children are learning how to manage their emotions. 

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

A national group of scholars is calling for 'prevention' over 'reaction' in wake of the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida last month. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked with a University at Buffalo expert who has joined the national 'call for action' to prevent gun violence.

Steve Inskeep talks to Dr. William Reid, who's spent time with the man who killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. He explains the extent to which mass shooters share personality traits.