BestSelf to address behavioral health now overnight, weekends, and holidays

May 29, 2019

BestSelf Behavioral Health recently opened a new location on Niagara Street called ClubWest. That facility is getting $4 million dollars in additional funding so the building can offer services during evenings, overnights, weekends, and holidays.

Credit Nick Lippa/WBFO

BestSelf is part of a pilot program called Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. The idea behind it is to provide integrated behavioral health care like employment assistance, support groups, and fitness and wellness classes.

President Howard Hitzel says social difficulties is a big factor for their clients, which often leads to loneliness.

“Often the biggest struggle is off hours. Evenings and weekends. People don’t where to go or who they can associate with,” Hitzel said. “ClubWest offers a place for folks where they feel comfortable. They can get the support they need. They can make friends and establish relationships.”

There will be additional resources available like yoga and cooking classes.

“Very often, people who suffer from being anxious or depressed, loneliness can be part of that,” he said. “So we really want to help connect people with other folks and help them establish relationships. Because we’re all social human beings.”

When it comes to mental health, Hitzel added it’s often clients are at home struggling by themselves or may go to the emergency room because they are having a concern or health difficulty.

“Very often those visits to the emergency room are not necessary. We’re looking for club west to be an alternative to those folks. We’re looking for ClubWest to be an alternative to those folks,” Hitzel said. “They can come here at 10 pm at night if they are having some kind of difficulty. And we have counselors and nurses and peers available to them to help them sort that out.”

Hitzel said the facility isn’t so much about treatment as it is recovery.

“Treatment is necessary, but recovery is really what we want to have people do. We want people to have fulfilling lives, relationships that they value, and productive things to do,” he said.

The program expansion funding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA. The grant will last for two years.

People interest in BestSelf Behavioral Health can visit their website at BestSelfWNY.org.