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Two area agencies awarded CARES Act funding for mental-health services

By Eric Reinhardt (


Liberty Resources, which is headquartered on James St. in Syracuse, will use more than $794,000 in federal CARES Act funding for mental-health services. Another agency, Contact Community Services of DeWitt, will use grant funding of about $800,000 for the same purpose. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Agencies headquartered in Syracuse and DeWitt will use nearly $1.6 million in federal grant funding for mental-health and suicide-prevention services.

Syracuse–based Liberty Resources, Inc. will use more than $794,000 and Contact Community Services, Inc. of DeWitt will utilize nearly $800,000, the office of U.S. Representative John Katko (R–Camillus) said in a Tuesday news release.

The funding is available through SAMHSA’s COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention (ERSP) program, which the CARES Act authorizes.

SAMHSA is short for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, while CARES Act is short for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Liberty Resources and Contact Community Services will use these funds to expand their mental-health and suicide-prevention services, including their telehealth offerings, to meet increased local need during the pandemic.

With the COVID-19 crisis exacerbating already rising rates of mental illness and suicide, the ERSP provides states and community organizations with funding to support mental-health and suicide-prevention services during the pandemic.