SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The family of Orlando Taylor is on a mission to educate on the importance of mental health awareness. The family walked from the site where Taylor was shot and killed by police in Springfield, to the main offices of “Behavioral Health Network” on Liberty Street.

The march calls attention to what the family says was a failure on BHN’s part to help Taylor when he was struggling with his mental health days before his death. Orlando’s mother says she called 911 requesting assistance, but when Springfield police and BHN arrived at her mother’s home, they did not offer any services.

“That’s the travesty that’s what whatever they say is inconsequential they say it’s justified we’re saying it wasn’t necessary and if you’re getting mental health treatment then it wouldn’t be necessary” said Minister Charles Stokes, family spokesperson.

Statement sent to 22News from Behavioral Health Network regarding Orlando Taylor III:

At BHN, we are committed to providing high quality, accessible services to the communities in and around Springfield and throughout Western Massachusetts. We strive to make services available and culturally competent to traditionally marginalized groups.

We are deeply saddened by recent events and any perception that we would deny services to any group or population. And although our ability to comment on specific recent events is restricted by HIPAA and pending litigation, we are continually evaluating our work and striving, with humility and the support of expert guidance, to make our services meet the needs of those we serve.

BHN has delivered services in the greater Springfield community for more than 80 years. Our ongoing journey on the path towards a more socially just organization, community, and world is unwavering and has the full support of our Board and program leadership. Our full-time social justice executive level position leads a department of staff who have created a three-phase strategic plan to align BHN policies, practices, systems, and services with the five pillars of social justice: equity, diversity, representation, human rights, and access to resources.

We welcome the opportunity to engage in dialogue with community leaders and community members around this work. We also welcome the opportunity to engage in community discussion around systems of behavioral health treatment in our region and what is being done and still needs to be done regarding the ongoing challenge of access to timely, appropriate, and culturally competent behavioral health care.