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I am outraged that the state plans to move beds from the Children's Psychiatric Center (CPC) in West Seneca to a building on the grounds of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. CPC is the one facility that has evoked hope for the many children and families struggling with mental illness.

I am among many angry parents who feel deceived because this hasty decision has been made without the consultation of parents, advocates and mental health professionals. This is a huge step backward, with no regard for the families who are most affected.

One of our many concerns is safety. We are told the two groups will be kept separated. This is impossible without taking away the adults' freedom or making the children's environment detrimentally restrictive. After meeting with a representative of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, the lack of foresight is apparent. No specific plan has been outlined should an altercation occur between an adult and a child.

The stigma of mental illness is a heavy burden on our children. The Buffalo Psychiatric Center is shrouded in stigma. We fear that when the children see the prolonged effects of mental illness on the adult population, they will become hopeless and helpless, and resistant to treatment.

CPC is located in a wooded area that is very therapeutic to both children and parents. The layout of the building creates a homey feeling, as opposed to an institutionalized rigidness. Why would it be taken away? Money.

The state spends millions on expanding highways, yet it takes away desperately needed services from those who have no voice. The dollars may add up, but it sure doesn't make any sense.



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