Founding Member

Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County

My experience with stigma and shame is not only professional but personal. We lost a child to circumstances that may have been changed by a broader public understanding of how to recognize and respond appropriately to a mental health crisis. The outcome would have been different for my child if people encouraged those in need to seek help in a positive, supportive and compassionate way. My vision for this initiative is that in the end it will save lives by providing the broad-based education to dispel all stigma that remains associated with mental illness.
Marlene A. Schillinger  | 

About the Organization

Provides counseling and social services support to Western New York individuals and families in the interest of doing what is right and good. JFS services include: Mental/Behavioral Health, JFS Care Coordination and JFS Career/Job Development. Their vision for social justice extends to all—regardless of religious belief, ethnicity, gender identity or economic status. “All are entitled to live with dignity and respect. All are entitled to live without fear or pain.” Nobel Laureate ELIE WIESEL Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County, New York [JFS] is a nonsectarian, not for profit, community-based health and social service provider that has served its community since 1862. We are a multifaceted agency offering a broad range of complementary, integrated services delivered by highly qualified professionals in psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work and rehabilitation counseling; committed volunteers and community contributors. Our services are available to all individuals – from infants, children and adolescents to families and the frail elderly – regardless of religious affiliation, ethnicity, race, culture, gender or ability to pay. Our compassionate health care professionals administer comprehensive programs that offer comfort, counseling and connection to a broad network of support. In every service area – from elder care to refugee resettlement to behavioral and physical health – JFS focuses on client-directed treatment of the whole self. We are guided by the essential connection between mental well-being, physical wellness and positive self-worth.