BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Friday marks one week since the Baldwinsville community was rocked by the shooting death of 14-year-old Ava Wood.
The senseless tragedy taking an emotional toll on so many people. It’s also shedding a light on mental health resources available in the Baldwinsville community. A church is now hoping to be part of that support.
Whether it’s having enough resources or counselors on-hand, mental health can be challenging for communities including, Baldwinsville. But St. Augustine’s is working to change that.
“What can we do to be supportive? Is there a way that we as churches can pull our efforts and have a full-time social worker or mental health counselor,” said Father Clifford Auth of St. Augustine’s and St. Mary’s Church in Baldwinsville.
Something St. Augustine’s has been working on since the fall. Right now, the church has a social worker who’s available once a week. But that’s not enough.
“Maybe this is the occasion where we ask ourselves, we broaden it. Right? And we’re more specific when it comes to mental health because we all struggle with that,” said Father Cliff.
Easing the stigma and expanding efforts to help people who don’t know where to turn.
“That’s our hope that we would have a case worker in place that would service any church in Baldwinsville that was interested in participating so collaboration is important to us,” said Debra Krisher, pastoral associate at St. Augustine’s.
A joint effort between St. Augustine’s, St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville and Catholic Charities. The case manager would help with navigating mental health resources for the person in need, finding them support and counseling.
Krisher added, “I think that kind of service would be so helpful, just to make the connections. We know that there are services available, it’s just making those connections that’s really important.”
There’s no timeline on when this would become available, but the church is hoping to make it a reality soon. The only thing holding them back is funding.