County Executive Adam Bello Announces Office of Mental Health Director Chosen for National Commission on Mental Health

February 17th, 2023

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Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today announced that Dr. April Aycock, director of the county’s Office of Mental Health, is among 14 mental health professionals from around the country chosen as part of the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) new Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing. The group is tasked with leading the development of policy and program recommendations at the federal, state and local levels to address systemic issues contributing to the nation’s growing mental health crisis.

“Dr. Aycock’s experience in behavioral health, substance use disorders and in health care settings makes her perfect for this role. She will help shape a nation-wide response to the growing issues of mental health in our country through an equitable lens,” said County Executive Bello. “Monroe County is proud to have Dr. Aycock represent our county and effect lasting change in our mental health systems.”

According to NACo, the commission will:

  • Raise national awareness around the challenges and innovations associated with addressing mental health at the county level

  • Pursue federal policy action around Mental Health Parity standards, reforms to policies that limit Medicaid spending on inpatient mental health care services, ensuring states have the option to provide Medicaid coverage for behavioral health treatment of pre- trial detainees

  • Create an intergovernmental partnership that connects mental health leaders at the local, state and federal levels

  • Lead a concerted intergovernmental strategy to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all Americans, with a special focus on vulnerable populations

“I am delighted and honored to have been chosen for this prestigious Commission. Developing a more cohesive national approach to the current behavioral health crisis with specific policy advancements at the federal, state and local levels will have a wide-ranging impact, including on our service system here in Monroe County,” said Dr. Aycock. "I look forward to mobilizing county leaders and partners from across the nation to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are infused in transformational systems changes.”

For additional information about the NACo Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing, click here.