Senator Morahan, State Mental Health Commissioner Participate In Groundbreaking Ceremony For Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center Building

Thomas P. Morahan

March 26, 2009

New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan, who chairs the NYS Senate Mental Health Committee, joined Sharon E. Carpinello, RN, PhD, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), Rockland County officials, family members, advocates and other stakeholders at groundbreaking ceremonies for the new, state of the art Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center (RCPC) building.

"Children are our most precious resource, and the care that will be provided within this modern new facility will have a significant impact on the mental health of thousands of New York’s children and families, for decades to come," said Senator Morahan. "The new Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center building’s state of the art environment will nurture future research findings and certainly enhance the quality of mental health care that is provided across New York State."

The new 56-bed facility will provide an environment that supports a multi-faceted effort to improve clinical research and training in the field of child mental health, resulting from the collaborative relationship established earlier this year between RCPC and the New York University (NYU) Child Study Center.

"This twenty-first century facility will change the existing child mental health paradigm by developing more effective ways to treat mental health illness, while informing our best practices in prevention and identification," "The work of researchers at NYU and at the Nathan Kline Institute, along with clinicians here at Rockland Children's will create synergistic results that address childhood disorders before they become debilitating issues in adulthood,"said Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, founder and director of the NYU Child Study Center and executive director of the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, also located on the Rockland campus.

The planned 104,000 sq. ft. building is designed to look like a village of buildings, each with a different function including four "cottages" of living space, an education area, program and recreation space, and a medical clinic and pharmacy. It will also include a family hospitality center to provide temporary accommodations for parents and family members who live out of the immediate area, enabling them to become full partners in their child's treatment.

The new facility is designed to welcome children and families as active participants in recovery: it balances individual privacy and appropriate supervision, provides a safe and therapeutic environment, and is family friendly - especially in the visiting areas.

Site clearing is expected to begin later this Summer, and bids for building construction are planned for the Fall. It is anticipated that the new facility will be ready for occupancy in early 2009.