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Community and lawmakers discuss fate of WNY's Children's Psychiatric Center

Posted at 6:35 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 18:35:55-05

"A full facility that was my home for six months is going to be closed down," said Douglas Hahn, referring to the Children's Psychiatric Center in West Seneca as "home".

"I'm still kind of in disbelief because the facility is still there," Hahn said. "My handprint is still on the wall with my quote next to it". 

A handprint he may no longer see. After almost two years of discussions, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Office of Mental Health, pushing to close down this facility and move the children, who range in age from four to 18-years-old, to a new facility at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.

"Our agency will build a new state of the art children's inpatient unit completely separate and secure from the adult service on the campus," said Ben Rosen, Director of Public Information Office for the Office of Mental Health. He was reading a statement released regarding what to do with the facility.

But parents, and members of the community, don't want to see this facility, which has been in operation since 1970 shutdown.

"If it wasn't for CPC she wouldn't be here today," said Rachaelle Barrios, who credits the center for her daughters health today, after spending a total of a year there.

"I think the staff that work with the kids at CPC now will continue to do a great job, however, the environment I think is going to change completely  and that was part of the holistic environment." said Barrios.

The Office of Mental Health says this will help save money. Funds, they say, will help others with mental health issues.

"The taxpayer funds saved by this relocation will be used to greatly expand community based mental health services throughout the region, while maintaining the same number of inpatient beds," said Rosen.

The West Seneca facility currently covers at least 17 counties in New York.

The Office of Mental Health reiterated over the phone, there will be no layoffs with the transition, and that all staff will be moved to the new location.