Skip to main content

Residents Asked to Share Input about Services at Mental Health Public Forums
Forums to be held at multiple locations throughout year First forum to be held in Poughkeepsie May 16th, next one in Pine Plains June 5th

Published: 4/24/2024

Poughkeepsie, NY …  To better reach residents and families living with mental health and substance use issues and hear their feedback on the local services and programs available to them, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) will be hosting this year’s mental health public forums at various locations across Dutchess County. Four forums will be held throughout the year and will feature simultaneous Spanish interpretation.

The first two forums are scheduled for:

  • Thursday, May 16th; 5:30 p.m., Poughkeepsie High School Auditorium, 70 Forbus Street, Poughkeepsie
  • Wednesday, June 5th; 5:30 p.m., Stissing Mountain High School Cafeteria, 2829 Church Street, Pine Plains

Each of the forums will offer residents the opportunity to share their experiences and give input to DBCH about the services available and needed for:

  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities;
  • Alcohol Substance Use Addiction and Recovery;
  • Mental Health Needs for Youth and Mental Health Needs for Adults.

These forums are free and open to the public; families, caregivers and local stakeholders are encouraged to attend. All input received will help DBCH shape the 2025 Local Services Plan, which establish long-term goals and objectives consistent with statewide goals and objectives. Community partners will also have representatives and informational tables at each forum to connect directly with residents.

DBCH Deputy Commissioner Jean-Marie Niebuhr said, “These forums are very important tools to help us let people know about the services that are available to them as well as learn where we need to improve.  The feedback we get is critical in our planning efforts.  This year, encouraged by County Executive Sue Serino’s community engagement efforts, we are taking our forums on the road, meeting people where they are. We are also pleased to offer Spanish interpretation so we can connect with as many people as possible.”

In the past, DBCH hosted separate forums for each topic, with all forums held at its 230 North Road campus in Poughkeepsie. To encourage even more attendance and increase accessibility for residents, DBCH is taking a mobile approach in 2024: hosting forums in northern, eastern, southern and central Dutchess County. The forums in eastern and southern Dutchess County will be held in the fall, with final dates and locations to be announced later in the year.

County Executive Serino said, “Dutchess County is blessed with a wealth of quality mental health services and programs, yet many people don’t know about all of them or how to access them. These forums are a great way to learn more about how you can get help and support if you or loved one is dealing with mental health challenges. It is also a chance to speak up about what programs or services may be lacking – getting feedback from our residents is how we continue to improve services. I am thrilled that our dedicated DBCH team has revamped the forum schedule to make it easier than ever for people to participate and I encourage people to take the time to attend!”

Residents planning to attend who may need to request accommodations, including sign language interpreters, are asked to provide at least seven days’ notice, by emailing or calling 845-486-2885.

For those unable to attend, DBCH welcomes written comments to be read aloud by the forum moderator. Individuals may submit comments online at, fax comments to (845) 486-2829, or mail them to: DBCH Forum Comments; 230 North Road; Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.