ITHACA, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Mental Health Department announced that it will be temporarily limiting new client intakes due to staffing shortages. These limitations will be in effect from Dec. 23, 2021, through Jan. 2022. Individuals needing immediate care and treatment, including those discharged from the hospital, will still be admitted for care.

Deputy Mental Health Commissioner Harmony Ayers-Friedlander said that retirements and unforeseen staffing changes contributed to this decision as the priority is to ensure continued quality care for those already receiving services.

“We acknowledge that the holidays can be a difficult time and, compounded by the ongoing pandemic, can lead to more individuals seeking services,” Ayers-Friedlander said in a press release. “Our priority is to meet the need in our community, and we greatly appreciate our partners and residents for being patient as we navigate these challenging times. We will continue to update the public as our capacity to accept new clients increases.”

Crisis Phone Line, Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service can be reached at 607-272-1616.

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...