Congressmen Katko Joins AccessCNY in Opening Crisis Respite Home

On Wednesday, January 24 Congressmen John Katko joined AccessCNY for the opening of the Berkana Crisis Respite home in Eastwood. The program is a first of its kind in Onondaga County. The ribbon cutting took place at the home at 2320 James Street in Syracuse.

Berkana Crisis Respite serves individuals who are struggling with a mental health or substance abuse issue, but who do not need emergency services. Berkana is peer run. Staff who have their own personal experience with mental health issues use their understanding to counsel others.

Berkana operates twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Those needing support can stay up to a week. During that time “guests” work with staff to create a recovery plan focused on conflict management, healthy coping skills and connections to other community services.

Guest of Berkana must be eighteen or older, have a mental health condition and be a resident of Central New York. A stay at Berkana can be recommend by clinicians, law enforcement officials, a mobile crisis team or friends and family. Ultimately, the decision to stay at Berkana lies with the individual needing support.

“I applaud AccessCNY for working to find solutions to best address gaps in health care and mental health services in Central New York,” said Representative Katko. “I worked with Assemblyman Magnarelli to launch a Youth Mental Health Task Force here in Central New York, and in Congress, I’ve fought alongside my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advocate for reforms to strengthen access to care for those in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment. Berkana House is a welcome and necessary addition to the treatment and recovery services offered in our community.”

Paul Joslyn is the Executuve Director of AccessCNY. “Berkana is a new day for Central New Yorkers struggling with mental health issues; no longer are psychiatric emergency services the only option. Berkana will not just provide a place for people to go, but staff who know the path to recovery having had their own journey with mental health issues. AccessCNY is pleased to put out the welcome mat for Berkana and grateful to open the program with Congressman Katko by our side.”

AccessCNY operates more than a dozen community based programs for individuals with mental health issues, including many homes where individuals are working on their recovery.

Berkana is a pilot project funded by the Central New York Care Collaborative through a behavioral health grant. The program will operate under the grant for two years with the expectation that the program will continue into the future.

For questions or coverage opportunities, please contact Matt Seubert, Associate Executive Director of Development at: (315) 657-0133.

Photo Caption: AccessCNY opens Berkana Crisis Respite home for those in mental health crisis. The opening ribbon was cut by: Congressman John Katko; Syracuse Common Council President Helen Hudson; Paul Joslyn, Executive Director of AccessCNY; Stephanie Pasquale, Commisioner Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development; B.J. Adigun of the CNY Care Collaborative; State Assemblyman William Magnarelli; Onondaga County Legislator Peggy Chase; and Syracuse Common Councilor Joe Driscoll.

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