Mental Health Task Force

In May of 2021, Madison County Chairman John M. Becker organized a Mental HealtMental Health Task Force Logoh Task Force to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the community.  Although behavioral health issues were present prior to the pandemic, the pandemic experience has heightened the need for programs and services to address behavioral health.  The group was tasked with developing a comprehensive mental health needs assessment to determine what the priority issues are in the community.  The goal is to develop short term, mid-range, and long-term goals to assist with the development of needed programs and services.  

The MC Mental Health Task Force is made up of the following individuals:

  • John M. Becker, Chairman of the Board
  • Mark Scimone, County Administrator
  • Cliff Moses, Vice-Chairman of the Board
  • Teisha Cook, Director of Community Mental Health Services
  • Eric Faisst, Director of Public Health
  • Dan Degear, Director of the Office of Emergency Management
  • Michael Fitzgerald, Commissioner of Madison County DSS
  • Samantha Field, Public Information Officer
  • Mat Roosa, Roosa Consulting LLC

The members of the task force also collaborate with key stake holders in the community.


MC General Well Being Survey

In order to assess the needs of the community, the MC Mental Health Task Force developed targeted surveys for various populations.  These included surveying:

- MC School Staff
- MC Students Grades 7-12
- MC Parents of Students
- MC Seniors
- MC General Public (this was distributed in many ways)
- MC Employees
- MC Faith Based Community
- People receiving care at MC Mental Health Clinic

*It should be noted that these surveys were to gather a baseline of information.  The MH Task Force will be and is currently collecting additional data on key groups. 

Survey Results

A number of key themes emerged from our survey efforts. Responses reinforced some common understandings of current needs:

  • Students, parents and teachers all report a significant increase in stress experienced by students, and a need for additional mental health/ wellbeing supports.
  • Populations with limited accesses to services (seniors with mobility challenges, people in rural regions with limited transportation options, etc) reported a desire for enhanced ways to access supports.
  • Social determinants of health (social connection, income, natural supports) all have a significant impact on mental health.

Implementation Strategies (The Plan)

Mental Health Wellbeing plan

As a result of multiple surveys, data analysis, and a range of other planning activities. The MC Mental Health Task Force has developed a plan to address the Wellness and Mental Health needs of the residents of Madison County. Special emphasis will be placed on ensuring that resources are developed for the southern, more rural and underserved communities of the County. Over the coming months and years, the goal of the Task Force is to implement and develop upon these strategies in our community. Some of these strategies are already in the works. 

  • Enhancing School based mental health/ wellness services and supports 
    • Currently the Task Force is surveying the needs of each of the Madison County School Districts.
  • Looking at ways to implement mental health and substance use screening, intervention, and referrals in other settings such as primary care provider offices, schools, faith based communities and more.
  • Wellness/ Mental Health related infrastructure:

Madison County Resources

Emergency Services 911
Madison County Mental Health (24hr Crisis Line) 315-366-2327 (prompt 1)
Poison Control 1-800-222-1222
NYS Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-342-3720
Contact (Syracuse 24 hr anonymous hotline) 315-251-0600
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Madison County Dept. of Social Services 315-366-2211

For a full list of resources available please check out our directory: MC Resources Directory.

NYS Project Hope

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An Emotional Support Helpline: Our Helpline is staffed by trained crisis counselors who help callers talk through their emotions and find resources to help them cope with the challenges of COVID. Call the Helpline at 1-844-863-9314, any day between 8am-10pm.

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NYS Project Hope Info  1-844-863-9314