A group of concerned parents, children, community activists, workers and elected officials came together in 2014 and initially stopped New York State from merging the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) into the Adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center. But the fight continues in 2015 as Governor Andrew Cuomo looks to close WNYCPC and relocate it into two stories within the Buffalo Psychiatric Center's Strozzi Building. If successful, this would be the only psychiatric facility across the entire state where children would be housed and treated in the same building as adult psychiatric patients. As such, the degree of oversight deemed necessary to protect and keep separate those children from the adult population at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center would render these severely traumatized and emotionally fragile children in a virtual lockdown environment. For example, children would have special times where they would be escorted to the pool or the gym or in and out to medical appointments. And – unlike their Psychiatric Center’s sprawling, serene and peaceful wooded facility in suburban West Seneca, they would be forced to gaze out windows to see adult psychiatric patients in their 40s and 50s on the grounds of the urban and stark city’s Adult Psychiatric Center. No one thinks that’s a good idea! And that’s why we’re involved in saving our Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center and keeping it in West Seneca where it needs to be!
* Current Location: 1010 East & West Rd., West Seneca, NY. An over 100,000 square foot,modern,1 floor school-like facility on 72 acres of park-like land. Therapeutically designed for children and youth with severe emotional problems.
* WNY CPC has its own full gymnasium, school, pool, interior courtyards where the children can safely move about, with ample private family visiting areas.
*Proposed Location: Buffalo Psychiatric Center, 400 Forest Ave. in Buffalo, NY. The children will be shoe-horned and restricted (for their own safety) into two floors of an 8-story institutional building housing adult psychiatric patients (including some Level 3 sex offenders).
*This proposed closure and relocation reduces the number of beds from 46 to 36, even though WNY CPC has a waiting list and serves children and their families from 19 Counties.
*Children were moved out of the adult psychiatric centers 50 years ago because everyone realized it was not therapeutic to have them with adults.
*WNYCPC was especially built in 1970 to treat children with severe psychiatric problems. Many of the children are victims of physical and sexual abuse
*WNYCPC has the lowest re-hospitalization rate in NYS out of all children and adults facilities.
*In addition, the one of the lowest rates of seclusion and restraint after staff participated in a SAMSHA grant. We received special training, equipment and a service dog, Tommy.
*WNYCPC received a 99.9% rated by the Joint Commission in 2012. We were given a special designation as being in the top 10% of hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission in the Nation.