BHSN provides education, advocacy, information and referral to the community on all behavioral health issues. Our offices are located at 22 U.S. Oval, Suite 218, on the former Air Force base in Plattsburgh, NY.
Advocacy is about making changes to:
- Getting access to mental health services
- The quality or kind of mental health services received
- Rights that have been violated (protections under the Mental Health Act or other legislation, discrimination, etc.)
- A work situation (hiring and firing, being treated unfairly, etc.)
- Social assistance (eligibility, losing assistance, being assigned to the wrong kind of assistance, etc.)
- Any other situation that needs to be changed in order to have a better quality of life (such as public education to eliminate stigma about mental health, social assistance and/or poverty and class issues, etc.)
- To promote mental health in our community
- To strengthen individuals and families so they may improve their quality of life
- To work for victory over mental illness
EDUCATION, INFORMATION & REFERRAL
Public education forms the base of many of BHSN's program offerings. It is through education that people will come to understand the roots of mental illness, family violence, child abuse and begin to eliminate them from our society. We provide education through outreach and by maintaining an in-house library of information we make available to the public. Information and education is delivered on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting.
Schools, human service agencies, and community groups may request programs by contacting our downtown Plattsburgh office at 518-563-8206, extension 135.
One of our programs which presents in a group setting is the North Country Mental Health Players. The Players is a troupe of trained amateurs serving the community by role-playing:
- the examination of alternative strategies for problem solving
- pubic awareness and sensitivity to community mental health problems
Presentations are offered for the purpose of portraying a specific problem having specific effects on individuals in a specific setting. The audience responds to the portrayal with alternative problem-solving ideas. The critical concept is the fact that behavior is truly a matter of personal choice which can be altered in the light of new and relevant information. Since its inception in 1980, the Players have provided response-provoking vignettes to a broad variety of agencies, educational institutions, professional groups, faith-based organizations as well as work sites. Click here if you would like to find out more about the Players.
The 13th Season of our FREE Brown Bag Lunch series continues in the Fall on the first Thursday of each month in the second floor Meeting Room of the City Library on Oak Street in downtown Plattsburgh. The programs are from 11:45am to 1pm. BHSN cosponsors this series with the Champlain Valley chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI:CV). Click here to see the programs in our current season. Resource materials are provided at every session. Bring your lunch or a snack and plan to attend one, some or all in the series!
SUPPORT & ADVOCACY
We have always advocated for person in need, either because they suffer from mental illness or have some other condition that threatens their coping skills. Advocacy services may be as simple as providing a listening ear or as in-depth as intervention with other agencies, the legal system, governmental agencies, and educating legislators about issues relevant to the behavioral health needs of the community.
We have established, with the guidance of MHANYS, a Local Business Advisory Council. This council is comprised of consumers, family members, business representatives and mental health providers with the goal of devising strategies to increase the employability of consumers through the philosophy that "people who are ready to work, can!" The Council has produced a PowerPoint presentation which allows members to attend various community, civic and service organization meetings to explain that mental illness alone is NOT a full time job! If you might be interested in serving on this Council or scheduling a presentation for your group, please click here.
If you are interested in dispelling the myths of advocacy, please visit the Depression & Bipolar Alliance website by clicking here.
Referrals are offered to persons looking for appropriate service providers to meet an individual's need. In addition to trained personnel to help guide people to these resources, BHSN maintains an up-to-date directory of area providers. Call 518-563-8206, extension 135, with your specific request.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Mental Health Advocacy is part of our local non-profit organization providing high quality, affordable rehabilitation, education, prevention and professional services. As part of our education, outreach and advocacy here at BHSN, we ask for your financial assistance in helping individuals as well as families.
Please mail your tax-deductible contribution to:
Behavioral Health Services North
22 U.S. Oval - Suite 218
Plattsburgh, NY 12903