Programs

Benefits Advisement Program
A program designed to assist people, with mental health issues, in obtaining/ maintaining government benefits in order to manage their disability. Benefits advisement provide information & referral, advocacy, and peer counseling in obtaining SSI, SSDI, Social Services (Health Insurance, Food Stamps, Cash Assistance) benefits and maintaining them.

Erie County Medical Center Peer Support Specialist Program
Peers assist patients in the behavioral health department in maximizing services while in the hospital in order to have a successful discharge into the community.

Wellness Coaching
A program designed to assist people with mental health issues, with improving their quality of life in the areas of mental and physical health, housing and community integration, daily needs, independent living skills and life management skills. We have wellness coaches in Buffalo Psychiatric Center and Buffalo Mental Health Court which assist in serving individuals with successful discharge from higher levels of care.

Work Support Program
A program designed to assist people, with mental health issues, with obtaining and maintaining employment in their community. Support Services are provided in assisting with developing interview skills, resume and cover letter writing, job searching, peer support, and life management.

Peer Services at City of Buffalo Mental Health Court
A dedicated Peer is solely assigned to City of Buffalo Mental Health Court in an effort to increase understanding and choices the individuals have going before the Court. The Peer Advocates, shares their lived experience, offers Information and Referral, and Peer Counseling in an effort to serve individuals in graduating from the Court and avoiding any future legal disputes connected to one’s diagnosis of a Mental Illness.

Critical Intervention Team
Since January 2015, Critical Intervention Team is comprised of a MHPC Peer, Crisis Services Staff, and Law Enforcement agencies in Erie County. The MHPC Peer provides an equal relationship with the person being attended to by law enforcement due to being what law enforcement states are “Emotionally Disturbed Person. (EDP)” The MHPC Peer shares their own stories and talks straight to the designated EDP, this often results in the individual understanding and seeking help they desire to avoid further encounters with law enforcement and get their needs met through other avenues the MHPC Peer and Crisis Services provide, which include providing stable housing, food, counseling, Peer Counseling, Mobility Training. The peers also extensively train law enforcement officers throughout Erie County (sheriffs, City of Buffalo police, Cheektowaga Police) in understanding mental illness and the peer perspective in providing services to those "emotionally disturbed" persons.

Mobile Transition Team with Crisis Services
A dedicated Peer Team working side by side Crisis Services Mental Health Counselors in assisting those with multiple unsuccessful discharges from ECMC’s behavioral health department stay healthy in the community. Our Peers provide partnering services, advocated for what is important for the person served while upholding their rights to freedom, choice, and services in an effort to stay out of crisis. The Peers are on call 24/7 along the sides of the Crisis Services MTS Team. The Peers give the unique perspective of having been there. The majority of people enrolled in this program end up having a successful transition into the community without further intensive interventions and treatment.

Addict 2 Addict: Peer & Family Support
This program is a MHPC Peer led team serving people with substance abuse disorders and families and loved ones with substance use disorders. The Addict 2 Addict team is available to those adults in Erie County who decide they are “Ready” for a new life and recovery. The team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will respond to a call within 24 hours. The Peers, in addiction recovery themselves and who have family members with addiction, share their recovery experience to those deciding they are “Ready”. The addicted Peers  help the addicted and their families and loved ones, navigate the many avenues to take once deciding they are “Ready” to give it up. The recovering addicted peer informs, advocates, and provides Peer Counseling in an effort to guide the individuals in need to take the first steps in their recovery path. Call 716-836-2726 when you are “Ready” to choose a path of recovery.

Living Room Crisis Diversion Program
The Living Room is a peer-operated and peer-staffed retreat for those experiencing a mental health pre-crisis or crisis. See brochure for details.

Mission & Vision

Mission Statement
Mental Health PEER Connection is one of the agencies under WNY Independent Living, Inc., and for over 30 years, WNYIL family of agencies has been a catalyst for systems and individual change, enhancing the quality of life for persons with disabilities, while respecting diversity and promoting choices and alternatives for independent living in our societies.

Our Vision
"Peers Empowering Peers Together"

3108 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214  (716) 836-0822 (Voice/TDD)  (716) 835-3967 (Fax)