St. Lawrence County sees dramatic drop in waitlist for mental health care

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:16 PM EDT
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - St. Lawrence County has improved its ability to help people who have mental health challenges.

The number of people on a waitlist to be seen at St. Lawrence County Mental Health Services reached 30 in March and April.

By the end of June, there were no people on the waitlist.

The county was able to hire another licensed master social worker.

Jay Ulrich, director of county community services, says the county had 3 vacancies for more than a year, and being able to get the wait list down to zero is great.

However, he expects as more people seek help, the wait list could grow again.

“It really depends on how many referrals we get moving forward. Typical caseload is around 80 to 85 and when you get above that you tend to tax your staff and that can lead to burnout and we try not to do that,” he said.

The office serves 350 community members.

Ulrich says when it comes to a waitlist, they learn about the people on it and if there’s an immediate need or danger, that person can get services quickly instead of staying on the waitlist.