Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) announces that as part of a new state budget, an agreement has been reached to keep the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca open for at least another year. The state had proposed closing the center and moving adolescent patients to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
Under the agreement, the West Seneca facility will remain open through the next fiscal year and the Office of Mental Health will begin a public process to discuss the future of the services provided to those children in need.
“I have been proud to work with community leaders and parents in making this issue a top priority,” Gallivan said. “Many of us believe the idea of transferring these patients to an adult oriented facility like the Buffalo Psychiatric Center is unacceptable because it could jeopardize their mental health and wellbeing.”
Once the proposed design for a planned children’s facility at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center are established, the Office of Mental Health will invite community stakeholders, legislative members and others to provide input on the proposals before any further action is taken. OMH will also provide information on funding and services that would be made available to children and families, including transportation, family engagement programs and adequate security.
“Over the next several months, I look forward to meeting with families and others to find a long term solution to provide the special care that these children require in an environment that allows them and their families to feel safe and comfortable,” Gallivan said.
The West Seneca Children’s Psychiatric Center serves emotionally disturbed children between the ages of 4 and 18 years of age. As of mid-March, the facility had 46 inpatients and a waitlist of 16. The center opened in 1970 and serves children from 19 Western New York counties.