As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition hosted a Facebook Live event on Friday, May 21 to discuss The State of Stigma and Mental Health: What Has Changed During the Pandemic.

Panelists included Alana Chazen, Community Engagement Coordinator, Compeer; Lindsay Herndon, LMHC, Associate V.P. Outpatient Services, BryLin Behavioral Health System; Sarah Lanzo, Director, Independent Living of Niagara County. The panel was moderated by Karl Shallowhorn, Chair, Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition.

A positive change has been easier access to mental health services “The pandemic opened doors for people to seek help,” said Herndon. “It is a way to end stigma, with just a click of a web cam. Telehealth helped a lot.”

During the past year, people reporting anxiety symptoms have tripled and depression symptoms have quadrupled. Mental health challenges are expected to continue as people return to work and activities, yet may still face financial, employment and health concerns. The experts spoke about the increase in mental health challenges and offered resources and encouragement.

You can view this session and other sessions presented on a variety of mental health topics at