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Young patients need West Seneca facility

Citizens should realize the consequences of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to close the Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca. The plan includes the elimination of 10 residential beds. There is a long waiting list for children seeking such residential help. The nearest children’s center outside of Buffalo is located in the Utica region, 200 miles away. Those children lucky enough to receive services in the proposed tiny residential space designated at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center will be limited to an area that is significantly smaller than the existing facility, which offers a state-of-the-art library, classrooms, gym and pool.

The Office of Mental Health promises that children will remain separate from adult residents. What life or treatment success will these children have in such a living arrangement being “secondary citizens,” sharing a facility with some adults who are registered sex offenders and child molesters?

State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, rallying support for these services to remain in West Seneca, said it best when he pointed out: “You shouldn’t mess with success.” Moving children in need of psychiatric care to a facility with adults afflicted with chronic psychiatric illness will leave them wondering: “Is this what my life will be? Where is my hope?” Cease and desist this merger plan, governor. Let the children remain in their present environment, which fosters hope and success.

Jennifer Inman

West Seneca