Updated: May 31
By Jasmine Willis
AVON — The dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly built center was held on May 25.
Roger Griswold shared the legacy his daughter, Elizabeth Green left behind with the children in the community. She was a beacon of hope and love for any child who felt alone. She had a heart for nature. Liz Green passed away in 2019. Her legacy will live on in the center and healing garden.
Noyes Health CEO Dr. Chad Teeters, Carl Myers, Glenn Hann, Noyes Mental Health and Wellness Program director, Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle, and Roger Griswold talked at the ceremony about this importance of mental health centers in recent times.
Swift Custom Metals of Dansville built a bench for the healing garden with Liz Green’s saying on it. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
A plaque on the new building reads “This building is dedicated in the memory of Elizabeth “Liz” Green 1976-2019. May the positive impact she had in life be carried on by those who work in this building.”
Diara Anderson, Noyes Mental Health and Wellness psychologist gave this local reporter a tour of the new facility. She believes in the work being done to help those in need throughout the county.
Teeters thanked all those involved in making this project a reality. He called it the jewel in the Noyes Health crown.
“This was needed here and in the surrounding area. I believe mental health centers are in greater need now than ever before. This place has exceeded our expectations,” he said.
Teeters said there are calls coming in as far as Hudson Valley to seek treatment. Every time there is a new mental health center built it is immediately filled with those in crisis. Teeters added that we need to break down the stigmas around mental health. He loved having the center in such a breathtaking area to give those in need a safe place to go.
Myers has again donated to Noyes Health. He believes in what the hospital and its centers do for the county. He talked about being blessed with the Sweetners Plus business that allowed him to get involved in the community.
Greg Shaffer worked for Myers and was known to be a dear friend. Myers talked about his passing away from suicide recently. His hope is that this center will save more lives.
“Greg worked with me many years. He went on to work as a deputy sheriff and I saw him rise up the ladder. About three weeks ago he took his own life. He needed help and didn’t get it,” Myers said.
Hann thanked all those who have supported the mental health centers in the county. He has been working with them for over a decade.
“It takes a village to raise a child and a community to care for others. I work in the colleges on Fridays. I worked with one young lady who was so riddled with anxiety she had lost her ability to handle situations. She was encouraged to take therapy and I gave her some pills. We met for seven months and on her last appointment she was professional and confident,” he said. “Suicide rates have skyrocketed since the pandemic. There were over a million suicides in 2020. We are thankful to the generosity of all of you who have made this wonderful building available. We are hoping to save as many lives as we can. I leave you with this be a blessing to someone, be a positive impact, and ask someone how they are doing.”
Coyle said the county is pleased to be part of completing this project. He believes in the work everyone is doing at these centers. He said those who come here from all over the county are in a great need of care.
Teeters said the project was important to them all along for its impact on the community. The message that is left behind is the life well lived by Liz Green. She was a social worker in the school community for over a decade. She lost her battle with mental health in 2019 when she committed suicide. This center is a beacon in the darkness for all those who suffer. Green worked tirelessly with the children to make them feel safe.
Griswold said the center is already providing quality services since February. He thanked all those who helped.
“As Elizabeth’s father I am truly humbled by my daughter. I am unsure I can convey the true essence of her life. When my family first learned about this center we were truly at a loss for words. Our family knew about the work she made happen at the Avon Central School. She had created an anti-bullying program in the county. We didn’t fully know the extent of her impact on the children’s lives. She helped by creating a space to make the children feel safe. She wanted to prevent the violence that is happening in many childrens lives,” he said.
Griswold said she wanted to be there for others no matter what and make them feel safe. She wanted the children to believe they are not alone. We honor the live well lived and how she made the world a better place.
Griswold added that whenever a child felt alone his daughter would sit with them. She would sit with them at the playground or in the classroom to show them they always had a friend. The healing garden will hold a bench for this purpose. The bench is shaped like a heart and will give anyone who feels alone a place to go for comfort. It is on this bench that someone will come to listen.
Lynn White, Noyes Health Communications director said they are grateful to all those who helped out with this project. She said the money for the project came from several avenues. There was a golf tournament to benefit the building, $350,000 came from Carl and Ann Myers, several grants, and $350,000 from the county.
The new center is located at 5712 Tec Drive in Avon. It is open Mon. Weds, and Fri 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tues. and Thurs. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The center is looking to hire an art therapist and three more psychologists. Each case load is about 80 patients. There is a strong need for treatment in the county. To contact the center call 585-658-0900.