mental health association in lockport
mental health self help programs

Programs > Peer Advocacy

When a patient is admitted to the Behavioral Health Service Unit at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, the Peer Advocacy program is there to help. We understand this is an important transitional time in the patients' lives, and that there are many decisions to make. We provide trained Peer Advocates who can work with the patients, the patients' family members, and other outside sources to provide reassurance, while keeping patients informed about beneficial services available to them.

Peer Advocates provide assistance in the mental health services planning process. They are available to assist patients in becoming participants in their own recovery.

What is an advocate?

An advocate is a person who represents someone else's interests or needs. The advocate's job is to achieve as much as possible for the client to benefit from, according to what the client is legally entitled to.


Peer Advocates are limited to helping admitted patients at NFMMC only. However, if an individual needs advocacy outside of the hospital they can contact the Peer Advocate Coordinator, Steve Ferguson, to see what other services or information might be available.

The Peer Advocacy Program also caters to educational needs and has established an advocacy information center and network.

Services and information available include:

  • Self-help
  • Support groups
  • Social clubs
  • Legal Rights information as a Psychiatric Patient
  • Reassurance in a hospital setting
  • General housing information

Peer Advocates:

  • Work with people who have psychiatric diagnoses
  • Work with friends and family members helping them to understand the process in the hospital
  • Provide reassurance for patients and their families
  • Keep clients informed about all available services
  • Make sure that the client will receive the best services and care available

You can reach Director of Peer Services, Steve Ferguson, by phone at (716) 433-3780, ext. 311, or email.

Work Opportunity:
Being a Peer Advocate is a paid position. If you are interested in becoming a Peer Advocate, resume submission is required. Upon acceptance into the program, training is provided. Please contact our Director of Peer Services Steve Ferguson, ext. 311, for more information


MHA: The Information and Referral Specialists
Mental Health Association of Niagara County
36 Pine Street
Lockport, New York 14094
Phone: 716-433-3780
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