Understanding, Support and Advocacy: From an Individual's Mental Health Diagnosis to the Impact on the Family

July 5, 2016
Hosted by Jessica Pirro

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Guest Information

Episode Description

When a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness, we do everything we can to support that person. What we fail to realize is that it is just as critical to provide support to the entire family and to recognize the impact of this diagnosis on the entire family unit. During this show you will hear from a family member who turned her experience into empowerment, helping families understand and advocate for their loved one with mental illness. We will discuss the impact on the family, the work that the family needs to do to help themselves as much as their loved one, and hear about options available to provide help, hope and encouragement. We will share information on the National Alliance on Mental Illness and all the resources and support they provide for families of the mentally ill.

The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

When crisis occurs there is an emotional and physical impact to ones wellbeing. As a crisis first responder I have seen firsthand the impact of not dealing with crisis and trauma can have on a person’s sense of self, purpose and belief in happiness and hope. The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope will provide education and real life experiences dealing with various issues including mental health, rape, domestic violence, suicide. We will talk about the signs and symptoms of these types of crisis, how you can help yourself, a friend or loved one in order to save a life and restore a sense of hope. My goal is to have an open and honest dialogue to help you know that you are not alone, empower you to seek help and begin your road to a life you want and not be defined by crises that have occurred to you. We will share information on effective interventions, cutting edge programming and awareness of services that you can reach out to in order begin their process of healing.

Jessica Pirro

Jessica C. Pirro received her undergraduate degree in Child and Family Studies and her Masters of Social Work from Syracuse University. She is a NYS Licensed Master Social Worker. Ms. Pirro moved to Buffalo in 1997 and worked for Erie County to set up the Domestic Violence Unit, under the direction of the Wellstone/Murray Amendment Family Violence Option. She began working at Crisis Services in 1999 as the Supervising Counselor of the Advocate Program, the NYS Dept. of Health Rape Crisis Center, and a NYS licensed non-residential domestic violence provider. She was promoted to Coordinator in 2001. In 2006, Ms. Pirro was promoted to Associate Director, charged with overseeing all agency clinical operations 24 hours a day.

In September 2014, she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and leads the agency’s crisis first responders helping those impacted by crisis with specialty areas around suicide prevention, mental health, domestic violence, rape, elder abuse and homelessness. She was recognized as one of Buffalo’s Business First’s 40 under Forty in 2010 and honored as an Advocate for Change by the It Happened to Alexa Foundation in 2008. She is Co-Chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County, serves as the Project Champion for the Millennium Collaborative Care DSRIP Crisis Stabilization project and is a member of the Health Foundation of Central and Western New York’s Fellows Program. She resides in Buffalo, NY with her husband, step-son and 2 fur kids.

Episode Directory

August 2016

July 2016

  • 7/26/2016: The Community Response to the Immediate and Long Term Impacts of Child Abuse Listen Now
  • 7/19/2016: Culture, Power and the Social Dynamics of Bullying: Our Role in Prevention and Intervention Listen Now
  • 7/12/2016: The National Disaster Distress Helpline: Responding to Natural Disasters and Mass Violence Listen Now
  • 7/5/2016: Understanding, Support and Advocacy: From an Individual's Mental Health Diagnosis to the Impact on the Family Listen Now

June 2016

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