Mid-Erie is a public service, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the development and maintenance of a comprehensive system of accessible and effective services dedicated towards improving the emotional wellness and behavioral health of residents of Western New York. Following incorporation on December 23, 1972 as Mid-Erie Mental Health Services, Inc., a community Board of Directors was selected and convened. In April of 1973, the first Executive Director, Dr. Albert Zavala and twelve staff began the initial service delivery. Mid-Erie has since been served by the following Executive Directors: Dr. George Dietz (1977-1986), Michael Venezia (1986-1999), Sarlyn Tate (1999 to 2006), Elizabeth Mauro (2006 to present).
The Federal Community Mental Health Center Act of 1963 and amendments in 1965 led to New York State's plan for centers such as Mid-Erie. The Erie County Department of Mental Health determined that these centers should be designed so that providers would give accountability to clients, the community, and established mental health authorities while minimizing disruptions of clients' freedom of access to normal community life. The county was divided into six pie shaped divisions (catchment areas) radiating out of the city to cut across urban, suburban, and rural areas and contain all socioeconomic groups to ensure equitable service. Each of these catchment areas was set up to be a manageable size for mental health planning and service delivery with approximately 200,000 people each. Mid-Erie was directed to serve Catchment Area IV, an area centering on Walden Avenue from Buffalo to Alden.