Everyone deserves a voice.

A word of thanks.

The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition would like to recognize the generosity of these partners who have made our Join the Conversation movement possible. Through their funding and guidance we are able to bring healthy conversations about mental health to more people in more places. Our efforts to silence the stigma would not be possible without their dedication and support. Thank you!

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

Created in 1990, the Tower Foundation is a family foundation working for children, adolescents and young adults. The foundation is focused on improving the lives of young people in the communities where Tower family members have lived, worked, and raised their children. Key funding areas include: Mental Health, Substance Use Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities.

The Tower Foundation has made the promotion of mental health a cornerstone of our grantmaking since our founding in 1991. One of our stated priorities in this funding area is the elimination of stigma related to mental illness. Participating in the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition aligns us perfectly with that goal. We are thrilled to be a part of this important work. Tracy Sawicki | Executive Director

Erie County Department of Mental Health

The Department of Mental Health is administratively responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and monitoring programs of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation involving mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities, problem gambling and, alcohol and substance abuse services.

It is with great pride in the work of the Coalition that I lend my voice in strong support of the work being done to alleviate stigma around mental illness. As human beings, we all are either personally affected or hold dear others who have struggles with their mental health. When we look at it as a physical condition with psychological symptoms, we realize we are all susceptible and can look at those affected with compassion and respect.

Mark O’Brien, LCSW-R | Commissioner of Mental Health

Throughout my 29-year career in behavioral health, I have watched scores of individuals in my personal and professional life who would not seek counseling, medication, or even support for fear of being stigmatized. I have also witnessed many, many people who, because of stigma, take on an additional burden that should not otherwise be there. I have witnessed language that is disempowering, marginalizing, and blaming; although sometimes unintentional, it is not less impactful.


When this opportunity arose, I knew that I personally wanted to be a part of this important initiative that became the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition. Not only personally, but professionally as part of the mission of the Erie County Department of Mental Health, the Coalition provides an opportunity to have many voices providing a unified message. It is far past time that we alter the paradigm of how our culture views mental illness and behavioral health challenges.

John Grieco | Assistant Commissioner | Planning and Analysis

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to having immediate and measurable impact in education and mental health. They are committed to raising awareness of mental illness, specifically serious mental illness, and the importance of early diagnosis. They also support training and academic opportunities for those entering the mental health profession and those currently working in the field.

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation is proud to partner with the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition to fight the stigma associated with mental illness. Through education and outreach, we are committed to improving the lives of  people living with mental health conditions.

Jane Mogavero | Executive Director