Public awareness campaign focused on depression, suicide, alcohol abuse and drug abuse

expands campaign with interactive resources, fresh faces and multilingual toolkits

Press Conference Participants: Anthony Donalson, youth peer mentor at the Mental Health Association of Erie County; Amy White-Storfer, director of Community Partners of WNY; Michele Mercer, chief clinical integration officer, Millennium Collaborative Care; Robin Mann, executive director, Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse; Kenneth P. Houseknecht, executive director, Mental Health Association of Erie County; Carol Doggett, JT1 campaign director, and senior director of marketing communications and outreach, Mental Health Association of Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 3, 2017 – “,” a peer-to-peer public awareness campaign focusing on the prevention and early intervention of mental health and substance abuse issues affecting youth and young adults in Western New York, today launched phase two of its multi-year program.

The campaign is funded through Millennium Collaborative Care (MCC) and Community Partners of WNY, two performing provider systems funded by New York State as part of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program; and is led by The Mental Health Association of Erie County, Inc. (MHA), in association with the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (ECCPASA), and with the support from community organizations in all eight Western New York Counties.


At Left: Michele Mercer and Anthony Donalson.  At Right:  Deidre Wright, Manager of Community Engagement & Program Development, Jericho Road Community Health Center; Michele Mercer and Kimberly Backey, EMBA,  Project Manager, Millennium Collaborative Care.

A prominent new feature of the web-based campaign is 24/7 live chat capability in partnership with the YWCA of Genesee County’s Care+Crisis Helpline. Individuals are now able to chat live, 24/7, through the website with skilled listeners who can refer appropriate resources throughout all eight WNY counties.

Other additions include a new “Tools and Inspiration” page where users can more easily access videos and toolkit downloads; downloadable toolkits translated into seven languages to include Spanish, Karen, Somali, Burmese, Arabic, Nepalese and Bengali to serve a more diverse user base; and, view expanded video content introducing five new youth peer spokespeople, a recovery coach and a prevention professional. Furthering the peer-to-peer message of the campaign are new billboards, digital ads, and fresh social media content across multiple platforms have been created.

Amy White-Storfer, director of Community Partners of WNY joins Michele Mercer, chief clinical integration officer, Millennium Collaborative Care, who spoke on behalf of Western New York’s Performing Provider Systems and their support for the JusteTellOne  campaign.

“Launching with a singular, clear and concise call to action – telling one trusted person how you’re feeling – was the overriding rationale to the first phase of the campaign,” said Amy White-Storfer, director of Community Partners of WNY.

“As we enter the campaign’s second year, our goal is to provide new and engaging content to maintain campaign momentum; to acknowledge that most who struggle with mental and/or behavioral issues have multiple diagnoses; and to build upon the initial call-to-action by providing more in-depth advice on how to start the conversation and take those important next steps to recovery,” said White-Storfer.

“The campaign is based on hope and change, and features young people sharing their stories about how reaching out for help has changed their lives,” said Carol A. Doggett, campaign director, and senior director of marketing communications and outreach at the MHA.

“When it comes to mental health and addiction we often wait until a situation becomes a crisis, and we are forced to act,” said Doggett. “That type of approach narrows the range of options and the probability of successful outcomes. This campaign was developed and is expanding with the goal of formulating new, more proactive and interactive was to address an assortment of issues; respond more quickly and effectively, and reach young people before their life is in full-blown crisis.”

The expansion comes after the campaign’s substantial success following its launch in November 2016. As of August 31, 2017, the campaign’s website has garnered more than 33,000 page views, with depression and suicide the two most-visited sections. Nearly 21 million impressions have been delivered on Facebook with 33,080 engaged users. On September 20, 2017, Facebook video views surpassed 1 million.

The campaign has also scored well on Twitter with 60,509 total impressions, YouTube with 207,229 video views and Instagram, with 34,880 impressions and 1,985 video views. In addition, has generated numerous requests from other agencies, schools and organizations throughout Western New York and beyond for additional information and presentations about the campaign.

The campaign materials are tailored to teens and young adults ages 14 – 26 within the Medicaid population of WNY living in urban and rural communities who are often from single-parent or non-traditional families with cultural or language barriers, limited health literacy, and limited or non-existent access to primary care providers. Secondary audiences include adult influencers such as parents, family members, church and community leaders, and coaches and teachers.

About the Mental Health Association of Erie County, Inc. (MHA)

The Mental Health Association of Erie County, Inc. promotes mental health and wellness in our community and supports individuals and families who are challenged by mental illness. Since 1962, the MHA has provided education, public information, prevention programs, training, advocacy and supportive services to seniors, adults, families and children in WNY. For more information visit

About the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (ECCPASA)

Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (ECCPASA) delivers proven research-driven education, prevention, and intervention programs and services to support and promote the health and wellness of individuals, families and communities by focusing on solutions to alcohol and other drug misuse, addiction, and unhealthy behaviors. For more information visit


About Community Partners of WNY

Community Partners of WNY is a network of more than 100 health, human service, and educational organizations; the Catholic Health System plus five community hospitals; and over 1,000 physicians from across the region that will focus on transforming the delivery of health care in Western New York. This community-wide effort is governed by a representative board established by the lead organization, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and supported by the project management team at Catholic Medical Partners. For more information visit

About Millennium Collaborative Care (MCC) – Igniting Healthcare Change in Western New York

Millennium Collaborative Care (MCC), is a Performing Provider System (PPS) under New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program, a statewide initiative championed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to fundamentally restructure the health care delivery system by reinvesting in the Medicaid program, with the primary goal of reducing avoidable hospital use by 25 percent over five years. The mission of Millennium Collaborative Care is to collaborate and partner with physicians, healthcare providers and community-based organizations to improve the delivery of healthcare to Medicaid clients across Western New York’s eight counties (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming). To follow our progress visit




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