BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - New York State's Office of Mental Health has decided to move the WNY Children's Psychiatric Center from West Seneca to Buffalo, and to create a new inpatient unit within the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
The OMH says the move will allow them to expand the local mental health system and improve availability of needed mental health services. The new unit will be within the building, but at no point will children be in contact with adults housed at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The OMH says the new, state-of-the-art children's inpatient unit will be "completely separate and secure" from the adult services on the campus.
In a press release, the OMH says this move will save taxpayer funds. The Children's Psych Center will be able to expand its services and also maintain the same number of inpatient beds and staff. An additional $3.2 million in annual funding will be created through this move, and the OMH says it will now be able to serve up to 1,000 new children and families in Western New York.
Many parents and children who have used the services of the Children's Psychiatric Center have spoken out against the move. They worry about children being housed in such close proximity to adults. We're expecting to hear from them and lawmakers at 2:00 p.m.