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ECMC Recognizes Behavioral Health Professionals, Highlights Mental Health Month

BUFFALO, NY – As the Regional Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and by volume, the state’s most comprehensive behavioral health care provider, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation today announced it is recognizing behavioral health professionals as it highlights Mental Health Month. Throughout the month of May and specifically this week, ECMC is raising awareness about mental health professionals and the vitally important services they provide including this year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ECMC is holding a series of informational and stress-relieving events for Behavioral Health staff, including: a Mental Health Trivia Contest, Pay It Forward Day, a WebEx meeting, Stories of Hope & Healing, and Wear Green for Behavioral Health. Videos for staff and the public will also be made available regarding Mental Health Month, ECMC Behavioral Health Services, and its Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP). Each year, ECMC also participates in a Buffalo Business First Behavioral Health Awareness insert. This year, the publication includes the ECMC article Connecting from afar, based on an interview with Dr. Michael Cummings, Psychiatrist and Associate Medical Director at ECMC.

ECMC Behavioral Health patients are also involved in two new therapy projects for Mental Health Month. One project titled I am a member of our Buffalo Community encouraged patients by enabling development and listing of personal goals that they note on a graphic poster of a Buffalo (sample image included). The other project involved the painting of “kindness rocks” (photograph included), which have been displayed outside ECMC’s main entrance on Grider Street.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ECMC’s behavioral health professionals have also provided advice and counseling to both the public and the institution’s frontline caregivers. From short-form videos posted on social media offering coping and de-stressing recommendations to virtual patient consultations, ECMC’s behavioral health services cover a wide range of mental health circumstances that have been heightened by the continuing impact of the pandemic. Within the institution, ECMC’s Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) teams have been doing supportive rounding with frontline staff in all areas of the hospital, providing support and counseling. The CISM team members are certified in crisis intervention and stress management skills, which they utilize in support of ECMC’s frontline caregivers involved in traumatic events. It is a peer response team that helps to normalize feelings and accelerate the recovery process; they are focused on helping healers heal.

For more information about ECMC’s Behavioral/Mental Health Services, those interested or requiring assistance can call ECMC’s Help Center at 716-898-1594.

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Example of the “I am a member of our Buffalo Community” patient therapy project encouraging patients to list their goals

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Therapeutic “Kindness Rocks” painted by patients

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ECMC Behavioral Health staff members (photo taken in 2019, prior to pandemic)

ABOUT ERIE COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER (ECMC) CORPORATION: The ECMC Corporation was established as a New York State Public Benefit Corporation and since 2004 has included an advanced academic medical center with 573 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed long-term care facility. ECMC is Western New York’s only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, as well as a regional center for burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, medical oncology and head & neck cancer care, rehabilitation and a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and patient experiences – the difference between healthcare and true care.



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