Weekly Feature



2015-02-26 / Front Page

Psychiatric Center coalition donates hats, gloves to Family Help Center


Volunteers and staff of the Family Help Center, located at 60 Dingens St. in Buffalo, fit children with the warm clothing they need in winter. Clothing was donated by The Save Our Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center Coalition. Volunteers and staff of the Family Help Center, located at 60 Dingens St. in Buffalo, fit children with the warm clothing they need in winter. Clothing was donated by The Save Our Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center Coalition. The Save Our Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center Coalition has donated hats and gloves to the Family Help Center, located at 60 Dingens St. in Buffalo.

(See editorial on page four)

“In this bitter cold, hats and gloves are a necessity, not a luxury,” said Stephanie McLean Beathley, president of Public Employees’ Federation Local 167. “We know children often lose their hats and gloves. The Save Our WNYCPC Coalition sponsored this hat and glove drive to make sure children are kept warm and to keep the community informed of our effort to keep WNYCPC in West Seneca.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to close the center and transfer the children to two floors of the adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center. According to representatives, the coalition is fighting to save the center because children do not belong in the same facility as adults.

“Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center opened in 1970 because traumatized, emotionally fragile children with severe psychiatric problems do not belong in an adult facility,” said Flo Tripi, Civil Service Employees Association Western Region president. “Children require specialized care and a specialized environment. Today, WNYCPC continues to be a state-of-the-art facility for treating children and teens. It provides a safe, welcoming, nurturing environment. Families are also welcomed and involved in treatment, and family involvement is extremely important.”

McLean Beathley said these children have needs that require individualized services.

“Children need space and support to move forward with the healing process. WNYCPC has everything the children need. As president of Local 167, we are united with the Save OUR WNYCPC coalition, our WNY delegation and brothers and sisters of CSEA to ensure that our children are not locked up and tossed away,” she said.

“WNYCPC has the lowest readmission rate of any psychiatric facility in the state,” said Tom Weston, president of CSEA’s Western New York Office of People With Developmental Disabilities. “The environment at WNYCPC cannot be duplicated at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The plan to move the children to the adult facility is unacceptable.”

More information is available at www.saveourwnycpc.org.

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