Buffalo Toronto Public Media is a trusted public media resource that enriches its audiences by providing educational, entertaining programming and services, as well as engaging the Western New York and Southern Ontario communities through cultural and civic involvement.

We recently spoke with Beth Fronckowiak, Director of Education and Outreach for Buffalo Toronto Public Media, about how the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition is having an impact in the community.

Q: Why did your organization become a member of The Anti-Stigma Coalition?

Buffalo Toronto Public Media joined the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition because we recognize the importance of mental health. As public media, we are obligated to raise awareness of important issues to leave our community better informed. At Buffalo Toronto Public Media, we have an ongoing initiative dedicated to mental health. There have been many stories on WBFO, including recently how COVID has impacted mental health, and we plan to incorporate community conversations in the near future.

Q: How are people with mental health challenges impacted by stigma?

People with mental health challenges are impacted by stigma in a number of significant ways. One of the biggest is recognition and self-recognition of a mental health issue. If mental health challenges are not recognized by friends and family and even the person themselves, then treatment and support will not happen. Buffalo Toronto Public Media, along with the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition, realizes that if we increase awareness, understanding and acceptance for those living with mental health challenges that will lead to help and support. 

Q: What impact is the Campaign having in the community?

The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition is offering valuable, real resources for our community to learn more and understand mental health challenges. Buffalo Toronto Public Media fully supports and applauds the work of the Coalition and joined them to broaden the reach of the much needed information. The station has been focused on sharing information about mental health on air and social media platforms for a few years now. Participation in live social media events has been significant. Our hope is that our community can learn more about mental illness and that understanding will help to stop the stigma.