weaveramadorTwo experts who participated in the county's Safer Communities Crisis Intervention Training Forum last week praised County Executive Robert P. Astorino and his administration for leading the effort in New York on this important issue.

Eric C. Weaver, retired Rochester police sergeant and founder of Overcoming the Darkness, LLC, discussed his own personal struggle with mental illness and his commitment to training first responders around the country on how to deal with people experiencing emotional or behavioral distress.

Xaviar Amador, PhD, creator and executive director of The LEAP Institute and nationally recognized expert on mental health issues, discussed strategies for helping people with mental illness.

Both speakers gave the Safer Communities initiative high marks for its ability to get so many people from different backgrounds – health, mental health, public safety, educators and community leaders – under one roof to break down the silos and focus on the importance of communication and shared resources.

View a video clip of Weaver's comments. 

View a video clip of Amador's comments.

Read the Safer Communities brochure, The Blueprint: Addressing Violence as a Public Health Issue.