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Funding awarded to expand behavioral health services


Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today announced that Citizen Advocates’ St. Lawrence County locations will receive $999,999 from the Department of Health and Human Services to invest in its Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic expansion to support mental health and addiction services in the region. 

“I am proud to announce that nearly one million in taxpayer dollars will return to our district to support our communities,” Stefanik said. “Citizen Advocates’ important mental health work has already proven to make a critical difference in our communities, and I look forward to witnessing how these federal funds will support their mission to provide quality mental health and support our families as the heartbreaking increase in fentanyl overdoses devastates communities in Upstate New York and the North Country.”

“We are deeply grateful for Congresswoman Stefanik, her leadership and commitment to expand access to high quality behavioral healthcare services for residents throughout northern New York,” said James Button, President & CEO of Citizen Advocates. “The results speak for themselves – since first launching the CCBHC program in 2017, we have seen positive gains for individuals who have long struggled with serious mental health and addiction conditions in the communities we serve. We are proud of what our amazing care team has accomplished through the innovative CCBHC program and the confidence that has been placed in us to expand the program with this latest funding award.”

Based in Malone, Citizen Advocates implemented its Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program in Franklin County 2017 and expanded into St. Lawrence County in 2020. This support has led to improved outcomes such as the following:

  • Avoidable ER visits in Ogdensburg have dropped by 7% in the last 11 months
  • Suicides have dropped by more than 50% in St. Lawrence County in the past year
  • Greatly expanded Narcan training, stronger data collection and implementation of evidence-based solutions to reverse the trend of overdose deaths.

This is the first installment of $4 million Citizen Advocates will receive over the next four years through this program.

In addition to providing a wide range of quality clinical services from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario and all points in between, Citizen Advocates offers supports that promote individual health through stable housing, job training and transportation. This is achieved through a person-centered approach that supports and celebrates each individual’s choices. We are here to make a positive difference in the life of any individual needing help along the unique road to health, independence and fulfillment.