Keep the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca.

On July 26, a NYS Appellate Judge decided to continue hearing the case of moving the
WNY Children’s Psych Center, to the grounds of the adult Buffalo Psych Center.
Anyone locally following this case of course knows the basic background to this
situation. However the facts involved in this court case have not been highlighted by
the local media. For example, why did the Office of Mental Health appeal the State
Supreme Courts decision to block construction at the Buffalo Psych Center? Is the
only reason due to financial costs of mainting the West Seneca building? If so, I could
of course point to many reckless spending policies by Governor Cuomo’s
administration. Why did the Governor only sign the bill to discontinue prosecuting
16, and 17 year olds as adults in criminal matters? Does he not share the sympathy of
adolescents with mental health issues in WNY?

The Office of Mental Health Commissioner Sullivan claims she wants to see more
community integrated services. If this is the case, then how is moving children from
one facility to another facility, integrating community services? How will quality
services be provided to the children and adults simultaneously on the same grounds?
Has any other children Psych Center been altered to be on the same grounds as adults
in NYS? OMH Commissioner Sullivan has admitted there are outpatient and one
impatient sex offender receiving treatment at the Buffalo Psych Center. How is it safe
for these children to be outside on the grounds within the same space as sex offenders
receiving mental health treatment? In this Buffalo News article, we can even see how
the Buffalo Psych Center has failed to prevent incidents within the local community.

(http://buffalonews.com/2016/04/16/girl-14-rescued-from-lethal-chokehold-in-attack-by-psychiatric-patient/)
Senator Patrick Gallivan has suggested using the grounds for an Opiate Treatment
Center
(http://www.twcnews.com/nys/buffalo/politics/2017/06/29/cuomo-gallivan-kearns-wnycpc-petition-psychiatric.html).

I think this is a great idea. In the midst of the
Opiate crisis we need more services for those who are struggling with addiction to
opiates. I personally lost a best friend, and a few other friends, due to overdosing on
opiates and other analogs that were cut into the batch. I have spoken with people who
could not access immediate impatient care, or had to wait to get into a treatment
center.

While we are having a national debate on health care, I simply do not understand why
we would be altering quality services that are provided to adolescents who are dealing
with mental health issues. If anything, we need more mental health services in a more
rural setting. We need the local media to help with investigating and researching all
available aspects of this proposed OMH plan. The local community must reach out to
OMH Commissioner Sullivan, and pressure Governor Cuomo to change his proposed
plan, and to sign a bill that provides more funds for the WNYCPC to remain in West
Seneca.

Anthony Baney
Erie County Green Party

Comments