A mental health care provider has captured two federal grants to expand its services. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Compeer Buffalo is the recipient of more than $2 million that will aid in the midst of a mental health crisis.
“One in four individuals in Erie County are suffering from some type of mental health diagnosis,” stated Compeer CEO Tim Boling.
Boling appeared with Congressman Brian Higgins at Compeer’s new location in the city's Lovejoy neighborhood. Boling said the federal dollars will allow his organization to expand important mental health first aid training to 2,000 people over the next three years.
A second, Youth Mentoring grant, will give Compeer a chance to expand to at least ten more Compeer sites nationwide.
“So the idea is for them to get funding and at the end of those three years that they will be able to find new dollars and we will support them during that time to keep them going. That will allow us to serve 1,000 youth over he next three years that are being underserve at our ten other locations,” Boling explained.
The mentor program matches those individuals with a mental health diagnosis with volunteers in the community.
Boling said too many youth are suffering from severe mental health crises.
Compeer's director of Youth Services Ashleigh Cieri expects to assist in potential expansions for more mentoring sites. She tells WBFO News there are now more than 200-children in Buffalo waiting for the service.
“Many of them are boys - kids of color, so we really want to target recruitment around that”, said Cieri.
WBFO News asked what type of mental health and mental illness children are experiencing.
"Most common, ADHD. Anxiety, depression are increasing every day,” responded Cieri.
This federal funding is the largest provided in Compeer's history.