Federal, State Representatives Are In Yates County Today For Roundtable On Rural Mental Health Services


ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – A group of federal and state politicians are in Yates County Monday to learn more about growing community concerns over a shortage of mental health services especially for children.

Representative Tom Reed (R-Corning), state Senator Tom O’Mara (R,I-Elmira) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,I-Canadaigua) along with state mental health officials will be in Penn Yan for a meeting about rural mental health services.

Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Media

Yates County school and county officials in Superintendent Kelly Houck’s office during a conference call with state officials, February 26, 2019.

Today’s gathering was prompted by Kelly Houck, the superintendent of Dundee schools in Yates County. Months ago, she made public her emails to local officials.

She said children and families are in crisis but there are not the resources to help properly help them. She went on to describe procedures they are told to follow are inadequate.

Shortly after Houck went public with her complaints Finger Lakes Health announced they were closing the mental health unit at their hospital in Yates County.

The need for mental health services for school children is an increasing problem in New York and Pennsylvania