SCI Executive Director Attends Westchester Commissioner’s Community Mental Health Forum
Dr. James Schiller, the Executive Director of St. Christopher’s Inn, attended the Westchester County Commissioner’s Community Mental Health Forum in White Plains on Wednesday May 17th.
Dr. Schiller was joined by Paul Gill, the House Manager at our White Plains Brothers Christopher House, and Steven Rabinowitz, an OASAS expert consultant and friend of St. Christopher’s Inn.
They were joined by Michael Orth, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, and Suzanne Feeney, the current Director of Program Management for the Office of Advocacy and Peer Support Services of the New York State Office of Mental Health.
Commissioner Orth, Suzanne and their team focused on the needs of the most vulnerable residents in Westchester County, highlighting the enhanced services planned in the 2023-24 New York State executive budget. Attention will be directed to the following areas: prevention, housing, safe and wider treatment options, extensive law enforcement training, crisis intervention, the single point of entry (SPOA) for those challenged by mental health issues (including substance use), inclusivity, equity and inclusion, and many other needs.
The Commissioner welcomed comments and guidance from those in attendance – consumers and providers alike. All were truly welcome, and all voices were heard in this intimate setting. Many of the voices were heart-wrenching and moving, but most of all, informative.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month – notably a time to fight the stigma of mental health challenges.
We extend a big thanks to Commissioner Orth and his team!