Issues: Mental Health

STANDING ROOM CROWD SENDS A CLEAR MESSAGE TO ALBANY: SAVE ST. LAWRENCE PSYCH CENTER

More than 100 concerned citizens packed Ogdensburg’s City Council chambers Tuesday to oppose Albany’s plan to shift inpatient mental health care services from the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to other facilities hundreds of miles from the North Country.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH SENATOR RITCHIE'S REMARKS ON SLPC

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL PUBLIC HEARING (07h, 30m)

They were participating in a joint public hearing by the State Senate’s Mental Health and Health Committees, and the Assembly Mental Health Committee.

Senator Patty Ritchie joined Senate Mental Health Committee Chair David Carlucci and other legislative colleagues at the hearing. Senator Ritchie has been a strong supporter of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, serving as a member of the local Psych Center Task Force, and leading an online petition drive that amassed 2,200 signatures of supporters, and a separate postcard campaign that delivered more than 5,000 “Don’t Shut the Lights Out on the North Country” messages to Albany officials in support of the Psych Center.

The following are remarks delivered by Senator Ritchie at the opening of today’s legislative hearing in Ogdensburg:

September 17, 2013
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Senator Farley Notes September Is Suicide Prevention Month in New York State

Several constituents have contacted my office this month, thanking me and my colleagues in the State Senate for our support in designating September as Suicide Prevention Month in New York State. A recent walk was held in Saratoga Springs that highlighted this designation and brought about the awareness that suicide is one of the top ten causes of all deaths in the Nation. Advocates of suicide prevention have also told me that suicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 15 – 24 and the second cause of death among college students.

September 16, 2013
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LEGISLATURE TO HOST PUBLIC HEARING ON ST. LAWRENCE PSYCH CENTER TUESDAY

State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding people that a joint hearing hosted by members of the Senate Mental Health and Health Committees and Assembly Mental Health Committee will take place Tuesday, September 17 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall in Ogdensburg. 

The hearing takes place in the wake of the state Office of Mental Health’s announcement of a plan to change the way mental health care is delivered in New York State; creating what they call “Centers of Excellence.”

“Like many other people, I still have a great deal of concerns about this plan and what it will do to the availability of mental health care as well as employment opportunities here in the North Country,” said Senator Ritchie. 

September 16, 2013
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September 2013 has been designated as Suicide Prevention Month in New York State

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the United States, the third leading cause of death among individuals  between  the ages  of  15  to 24, and the second leading cause of death among college students. More than twenty percent of those who die  by  suicide  are  active  or retired members of the military.

A great many suicides are preventable. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, together with  thousands of advocates, caregivers,  consumers  and  professionals  work  tirelessly to raise awareness, reduce stigma, educate New Yorkers and influence public policy to make mental health services readily available and accessible.

September 6, 2013
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on HealthChair: Senator Kemp HannonPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Middletown City Hall, Common Council Chambers, 16 James Street, Middletown, New YorkTime: 2:00 P.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 19, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental DisabilitiesChair: Senator David CarlucciPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Middletown City Hall, Common Council Chambers, 16 James Street, Middletown, New YorkTime: 2:00 P.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 19, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on HealthChair: Senator Kemp HannonPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Farmingdale State College, Little Theatre, Roosevelt Hall,2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, New York 11735-1006Time: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 9, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Chair: Senator David CarlucciPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Farmingdale State College, Little Theatre, Roosevelt Hall,2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, New York 11735-1006Time: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 9, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Chair: Senator David CarlucciPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Ogdensburg City Hall, City Council Chambers, 330 Ford Street,Ogdensburg, New York 13669-1626Time: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 17, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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Public Hearing: Regional Centers of Excellence

Senate Standing Committee on HealthChair: Senator Kemp HannonPublic Hearing: Regional Centers of ExcellencePlace: Ogdensburg City Hall, City Council Chambers, 330 Ford Street,Ogdensburg, New York 13669-1626Time: 10:00 A.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Jason Elan (845) 623-3627

September 17, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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Senator Carlucci and OMH’s Nathan S. Kline Institute (NKI) Promote Innovative Research Initiative in Rockland County to Study Debilitating Mental Health Illnesses

ORANGEBURG, NY– New York State Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester), Chairman of the New York State Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, today joined with researchers of the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Nathan Kline Institute to highlight its latest research initiative towards finding cures for debilitating mental illness.

August 8, 2013
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O'Mara's online petition reaches thousand mark

 

Elmira, N.Y., July 25—An online “Join The Fight!” petition drive launched just over a week ago by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) continues to rally public support for the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Elmira PC) and has now gained 1,000 supporters.  

"Word keeps spreading that the effort’s underway to try to convince the Cuomo administration to reconsider the future of the Elmira PC and to protect the place we believe it’s earned as a flagship of New York’s mental health system,” said O’Mara.  “Support keeps building.” 

July 25, 2013
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O'Mara's online petition to save Elmira PC drawing hundreds of supporters (Updated, July 22)

Elmira, N.Y., July 19—An online “Join The Fight!” petition drive launched on Tuesday by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) to rally public support for the continued operation of the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Elmira PC) has already drawn more than 750 supporters. 

"The response has grown day by day, and it’s been very positive,” said O’Mara, who continued to urge supporters to spread the word about the petition drive.  “It’s going to be very helpful to the overall effort to encourage Governor Cuomo and his administration to reconsider the future of the Elmira PC.”

July 19, 2013
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O'Mara launches online petition to save the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Updated)

Albany, N.Y., July 16—One week after the Cuomo administration unveiled its plan to shut down the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Elmira PC) next year, State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) has launched an online, “Join The Fight!” petition to rally public support for keeping the Elmira PC open.

July 16, 2013
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Senator Carlucci Applauds the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) for Bringing Regional Centers of Excellence to Rockland County

Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester), Chairman of the Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, today offered praise upon the release of the long-awaited OMH Regional Centers of Excellence plan that continues its mission of de-institutionalizing care for people with mental illnesses.  The plan reforms existing bureaucracy and provides better community-based care and services as a more holistic approach. 

July 11, 2013
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Statement from Senator O'Mara on today's announcement of the closing of the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Updated, July 11)

 

Elmira, N.Y., July 10— State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) released the following statement on today’s announcement by the Cuomo administration that it will close the Elmira Psychiatric Center, resulting in the potential loss of 250 local jobs, under a state Office of Mental Health (OMH) reorganization plan:

July 10, 2013
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STATEMENT ON ST. LAWRENCE PSYCH CENTER PLAN

 

The no-layoff plan unveiled by the Office of Mental Health assures a continued role for the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in the delivery of mental health services to the North County community, and protects hundreds of jobs that are vital to the economy of this region. That much is known.

July 10, 2013
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Committee Meeting: Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Senator David Carlucci, Chair 10:00 AM, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 Room 124 CAP

June 19, 10:00 AM - 10:25 AM
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Senator Tkaczyk, Assemblywoman Gunther Fight for Community-Based Mental Healthcare

(ALBANY, NY) -- Although community mental health needs are at an all-time high, funding for those programs has been diverted to the General Fund for ten of the last 20 years. State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk (ranking member of the Senate Mental Health Committee) and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (chair of the Assembly Mental Health Committee) have introduced legislation to address that lack of funding and the current critical shortage of community-based services.

June 13, 2013
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“DON’T SHUT THE LIGHTS OUT ON THE NORTH COUNTRY”

Ritchie Launches Postcard Campaign in Support of the St. Lawrence Psych Center 

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force Friday to launch a postcard campaign to demonstrate support for the facility as state officials continue to deliberate the future of mental health care in New York State.

Postcards, which read “Don’t Shut the Lights Out on the North Country,” have been printed and given to community leaders, union leaders and county officials for distribution.  In addition, cards are also available at Senator Ritchie’s Ogdensburg office, located at 330 Ford Street and can be printed here. All postcards will be mailed to Governor Cuomo and Kristin Woodlock, Acting Commissioner New York State Office of Mental Health.

June 7, 2013
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