Closure does more harm to mentally ill children

You can call a dog a duck, but it doesn’t make it a duck. The governor of our great state is still holding fast to the lack of wisdom behind his decision to close the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (CPC) in West Seneca.

According to Sen. Patrick Gallivan, the governor said in December that he would not proceed with his plan to close CPC without the Office of Mental Health (OMH) first meeting with the community and mental health advocates to discuss it. This has not been done and yet officials have reduced CPC from 46 beds available for our children down to 36 beds as of this month.

The governor and OMH have not asked all of the stakeholders involved for their input into the wisdom of this closure. Parents and patients are important stakeholders, yet no one in the governor’s office or at OMH is paying attention to our outcry.

They are just bulldozing ahead with blinders on. They hear but they ignore. Our elected officials are doing their utmost for our cause, led by Gallivan and Assemblyman Mickey Kearns representing a united front of the Western New York delegation in opposition to this ridiculous plan.

CPC is already a successful Center of Excellence. Locking up our mentally ill children into two floors of the adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center and calling it a Center of Excellence for our children doesn’t make it so. It can be a Center of Excellence for adults, but not for our Western New York children. They already have that in CPC so why harm our children with this closure?

Allison R. Scanlon