Monroe County Executive Adam Bello Announces 24/7 Expansion Of County's Fit Team, New Team To Coordinate Addiction Care And Mental Health Taskforce

September 11th, 2020

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The initiatives are a first step toward a greater reimaging of the way Monroe County delivers critical services and care to individuals in crisis.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today announced a trio of initiatives that will help bring needed change to the way Monroe County delivers vital mental health and substance use disorder services to members of our community.

“Daniel Prude’s tragic death has amplified the urgency for our community to enact meaningful and equitable change, to address systemic, institutional racism and to confront the fact that our systems for far too long have failed to help the people who need help the most,” said Bello. “These three initiatives are a first step toward a greater reimagining of the way Monroe County delivers critical services and care to individuals in crisis.”

Bello is taking the following immediate actions:

  • Matching the City of Rochester’s $300,000 investment with an additional $360,000 investment in the county’s Forensic Intervention Team (FIT), which partners Office of Mental Health clinicians with law enforcement agencies in order to respond to crisis calls and help connect people in need with outpatient services. The funding will allow this team to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Creating the Monroe County Improving Addiction Coordination Team (IMPACT), a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to coordinating and expanding the work of substance use disorder treatment organizations already in the community. This team will be headed by an Addictions Director who reports to Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza and will include a Senior Research Coordinator to ensure IMPACT efforts are targeted to the people and communities most in need. The team will also include six Outreach Coordinators to provide coaching and assistance to those struggling with acute or chronic addictions in finding treatment beds, NARCAN, housing, transportation or any other support services they may need while they work toward recovery.
  • Creating a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Redesign Taskforce comprising local mental health clinicians, addiction and recovery experts, primary care physicians, elected leaders and law enforcement officials who will work in close coordination with the RASE Commission to examine the county’s $40 million in mental health spending and make recommendations for lasting changes. This effort will also identify short term and long term reforms that will impact how the county can better deliver of mental health, domestic violence, child protective and other social services with our 911 emergency system.

“I hear the voices of those who are crying out for help and I intend to stop the cycle of using our resources to tell people how we will help instead of asking the community we serve ‘what will help?,’” said Bello. “We can and must do better. We must do better by addressing the systemic failures that have led us to where we are today.”