ADVERTISEMENT

Child mental health needs should be met separately

“Inpatient services now offered at the Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca … will be merged into the historic Buffalo facility at Forest and Elmwood avenues, starting in July 2014.”

Research conducted in the 1960s indicated that inpatient children’s facilities should not be situated together with adult facilities due to concerns about role model issues as well as the specialized services and staff needed to serve children and adolescents. Consequently, the Child and Adolescent Unit of the Buffalo State Hospital at Forest and Elmwood was closed in 1970 and children and adolescents were moved to West Seneca, where specialized services have been provided by specially trained staff with considerable success for 43 years.

I began working at the Children’s Psychiatric Center in 1971 and concurred with the research at that time. I believe the research of the 1960s still pertains today. While the facility is somewhat remote, it has provided a comforting environment allowing treatment to occur in a small setting. Children have special mental health needs and should be served separately from adults by staff with special training.

J. Paul Synor, LCSW

Elma