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Letter: Mentally ill children need separate facility

Mentally ill children need separate facility

It was very troubling to learn that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is intent on relocating the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center to the grounds of the adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center. Prior to the final budget vote, both the Assembly and the Senate supported keeping the facility where it is.

As a doctor explained in his recent letter to the editor, children with serious mental illness had been housed at BPC in the past. Every child welfare professional knew that children deserved a separate facility built for their specific needs, and many of us were involved in strongly advocating for what is now the WNYCPC.

It makes no sense whatsoever to move these children back to the adult facility, back to a high-rise building, to limited outdoor space that is adjacent to the new boutique hotel in the renovated Richardson building. The West Seneca facility was designed specifically for children, and it sits on spacious grounds accessible only to the residents. There is no therapeutically sound argument to relocate these children to an adult setting. I doubt that the governor has visited the facility; if he had it would be obvious that he needs to change his mind.

Ellen T. Kennedy


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