Prevent Closure of Children’s Psychiatric Center
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Currently on the state’s closure list, the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) is facing a possible shutdown with plans for absorption by the Buffalo Psychiatric Center (BPC), a facility that only serves long-term adult psychiatric patients. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo may soon sacrifice the health and well-being of WNYCPC's adolescent patient population for what many see as strictly a shortsighted financial decision.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is currently reviewing legislature that would prevent the merger of the children’s facility with Buffalo’s adult center. The Buffalo Psychiatric Center is a crowded, urban setting that would be detrimental to the progress and healing of developing children and adolescents. The children would be subjected to a more restrictive — less nurturing and therapeutic — environment, surrounded by long-term adult psychiatric patients who are themselves recovering. As recently as 2016, an adult outpatient from Buffalo Psychiatric Center attacked a 14-year-old girl, nearly strangling her to death.
Consolidation of this invaluable resource for the residents of Western New York would hamper the recuperation of adult and child patients alike. To protect the children, both children and adults would have restrictions on the days and times they could use recreation facilities like the gym, pool and bowling alley. For their own safety, children would need to be escorted/guarded by adult staff whenever they are walking on the grounds. The exception would be a yard, surrounded by a 14’ fence attached to one end of their residential building. These conditions highly contrast the existing nurturing environment at the WNYCPC.
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