There are a variety of advocacy services available for people with a mental illness and their families. These services are provided to both children and adults. The Mental Health Association for Fulton and Montgomery Counties*, 307-309 Meadow Street, Johnstown, New York 12095 762-5332, provides "Peer Ombudsman Services" which are individuals who have received mental health services and they assist others in accessing the system of care and coping with the challenges of their illness. Information and referral services to assist individuals seeking help and their families find the help that they need. Family Support Services for children with mental health problems and their families. "Compeer for Youth and Adults" which provides volunteers to help people learn to live fully in the community despite their illness. "Representative Payee" services for individuals who can live in the community, but need assistance with managing their personal finances. A "Drop In Center" for adults with mental illness so that they can socialize with their peers in an accepting environment. "Handy Ups and Downs" is a second hand store that employs people with mental illness collecting, sorting and retailing second hand clothing.
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton Counties*, PO Box 904, 2414 Riverfront Center, 2nd Fl., Amsterdam, NY 12010 telephone 843-3261 supports and advocates for families of people with mental illness in the three county area. The all volunteer organization provides support groups for family members and information about accessing services.
The Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL)* 347 West Main Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010 telephone 842-3561 provides adocacy and support services for people with all types of disabilities including mental illness and mental retardation. The organization is part of the "independent living movement" among people with disabilities and emphasizes the individuals right to make choices and guide their own lives.