Attorney General Letitia James spent hours Wednesday holding a public hearing on the mental health crisis in Western New York. One out of five people will experience a mental illness in a given year according to the C-D-C. 

“We are failing the youth in a spectacular way when we are saying you need to go to a hospital you can't be safe and that hospital environment is an added trigger,” said Mental Health Advocate Doug Hahn during the hearing. 

Corning resident Matthew Tobia lost his life to suicide in 2021, and his mother spoke at today's forum. Elisa Tobia said Matthew lost his fight against opioids and Schitzoaffective disorder because the healthcare system could not provide enough support for him. 

“Nowhere in the record was (Matthew) offered more than one (counseling session) per month,” said Elisa Tobia. 

At the end of the forum State officials said they took note of all of the concerns shared. After the forum James the hearings will continue and improvements will be made to help address the mental health crisis.