Issues: Mental Health

SENATOR GALLIVAN PUSHING LEGISLATION TO KEEP WNY CHILDREN’S PSYCHIATRIC CENTER IN WEST SENECA OPEN

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) sponsored legislation today to freeze New York State’s plan to close psychiatric health centers across the state, including the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in the Town of West Seneca.

Gallivan is the third senator to sponsor the “Freeze Unsafe Closures Now Act” (S.5986), which places a moratorium on closing the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca and all targeted facilities until April 1, 2015, providing lawmakers, the executive and mental health experts time to devise a plan that is more responsive to the needs and challenges of Western New York’s mentally ill.

November 20, 2013
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O'Mara co-sponsoring legislation to delay implementation of OMH plan jeopardizing future of Elmira Psychiatric Center

Elmira, N.Y., November 19— State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) welcomed yesterday's comments from a key colleague, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous (R-Binghamton), that Governor Andrew Cuomo will consider alternatives to a comprehensive state Office of Mental Health (OMH) reorganization plan that calls for shutting down inpatient services and other changes at the Elmira Psychiatric Center. 

November 19, 2013
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RITCHIE BILL WOULD BLOCK PSYCH CENTER CLOSING

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced new legislation to stop the state’s plans to close the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center’s inpatient care facilities, and give state mental health officials and community members additional time to seek alternatives.. 

The “Freeze Unsafe Closures Now Act,” S.5986, is jointly sponsored by Senator Ritchie and Senator Thomas Libous, the Deputy Senate Leader, whose district also is hard hit by the state’s plan that slashes inpatient mental health care.

“The state’s plan puts our most vulnerable citizens and children in danger, without a clear alternative that ensures sufficient, continued mental health care services close to home and in our communities,” Senator Ritchie said.

November 19, 2013
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Join Us at a Rally to Save the Elmira Psychiatric Center ~ Saturday, November 23, 2013 ~ Clemens Center in Elmira ~ Details Below

Immediately following Saturday's rally, supporters will hold a “community walk” around the grounds of the Elmira Psychiatric Center.

November 15, 2013
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Watch a replay of Senator O'Mara's October 28th public hearing on the future of the Elmira Psychiatric Center

Elmira, N.Y.—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) hosted a public hearing in Elmira on October 28th on the future of the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Elmira PC) and the Greater Binghamton Health Center, and the need for an ongoing “Southern Tier-based Center of Excellence” within New York State’s system of mental health. 

October 31, 2013
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Senator O'Mara hosts October 28th public hearing on the future of the Elmira Psychiatric Center

Elmira, N.Y., October 28—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) hosted a public hearing in Elmira on October 28th on the future of the Elmira Psychiatric Center (Elmira PC) and the Greater Binghamton Health Center, and the need for an ongoing “Southern Tier-based Center of Excellence” within New York State’s system of mental health. 

October 31, 2013
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State Senate holding hearing today on future of Elmira Psychiatric Center, statewide mental health system ~ Watch live, and read more

The New York State Senate will hold a final hearing in Elmira today on the impact of the state Office of Mental Health "Regional Centers of Excellence" to consolidate and reorganize the New York's mental health system.

Under the OMH plan, inpatient services at the Elmira Psychiatric Center would be eliminated and the facility's overall role diminished.

Senator O'Mara continues to join other local leaders, Elmira PC employees, patients, family members and concerned citizens in opposition to the Cuomo administration plan.

October 28, 2013
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Public Hearing: To investigate the impact of the Office of Mental Health’s Regional Centers of Excellence on community based services, access to in-patient care, and the effect on local communities, consumers and family members

Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental DisabilitiesChair: Senator David CarlucciPublic Hearing: To investigate the impact of the Office of Mental Health’s RegionalCenters of Excellence on community based services, access to in-patientcare, and the effect on local communities, consumers and familymembersPlace: Chemung County Legislative Chambers, John H. Hazlett Building,5th Floor, 203 Lake Street, Elmira, New YorkTime: 11:00 A.M.Contact: Sarah Bangs (518) 455-2991Media Contact: Michael Grubiak (845) 623-3627ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY

October 28, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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NEW HOTLINE ANNOUNCED FOR NEW YORK'S HEALTHCARE EXCHANGE

The New York State Department of Health has opened a hotline to help customers sign up for New York's healthcare exchange.  The enrollment period runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.  You can reach the "NY State of Health" program at 1-855-355-5777.  The line will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m to 5 p.m.  For additional information, please visit www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov.

September 19, 2013
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VIDEO: SLPC = EXCELLENCE!

Senator Patty Ritchie's remarks to the joint legislative hearing on the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.

September 18, 2013
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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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