Hearing addresses access to mental health crisis services in Rochester

Community

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — May is Mental Health Awareness Month and local advocates and lawmakers held a public hearing on mental health crisis services.

In Rochester over the last year, two men Daniel Prude and Tyshon Jones died after encounters with the Rochester police during mental health episodes.

Also within this year, officers pepper sprayed a 9 year old girl.

Sen. Samra Brouk spoke on Tuesday about the impact of those deaths and the pepper spraying on the community.

“We know this is part of a crisis that is much larger. There is a mental health crisis in our New York State. We need to take steps to figure out who shows up during a crisis moment, how do we approach crisis. I think we have an opportunity here in New York State to change the script, to change the paradigm when it comes to mental health, and how we think about mental health and mental health crisis.”

Brouk and other advocates are pushing for Daniel’s Law, which would establish mental health response units and counselors across the state. They’d be trained to deescalate mental health and substance abuse emergencies.

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