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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

August 02, 2022

NYS OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH BREAKS GROUND ON MAJOR RENOVATIONS AND EXPANSION AT WESTERN NY CHILDREN'S PSYCHIATRIC CENTER

NYS Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan was joined by State Legislators, local elected officials and children’s mental health advocates to break ground on renovation work at the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) that will remake the facility into a state-of-the-art center for children and adolescents.  The $55 million project will add approximately 50,000 sq. ft. of residential and clinical support space, and renovations will update existing educational, administrative and recreational therapy spaces.

OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said, “The renovations and expansion of WNYCPC are yet another example of Governor Kathy Hochul’s extraordinary commitment to the health and welfare of New York’s youth. The $55 million investment we’re making into WNYCPC will ensure excellent care in an environment that is safe and welcoming for children, their families, and the OMH employees at the facility.”

David Privett, WNYCPC Executive Director, said, “WNYCPC has been delivering services to Western New York youth and their families for more than 50 years. It is an extremely important part of the community and the investments we are making to expand and improve the facility will allow it to continue to provide critical services to vulnerable young people and their families.”

Reuben McDaniel, III, President and CEO of DASNY, said, “DASNY is proud to contribute to the next chapter of an institution that has provided such important services to children and their families for so many years.  With the Governor’s vision and the collaboration of the Office of Mental Health and our design and construction partners, we will take an important step forward for the care of our children.”

Catalina, an advocate for WNYCPC, said, “Our family personally knows that the mental health of our youth is just as important as their physical health.  By improving the overall environment inside and out at WNYCPC, our NYS Governor and legislative leaders are proving that the mental health of future children, youth and their families in need of quality inpatient psychiatric care do matter!”

WNYCPC serves youth and families in the 19 county Western New York region. Construction, which is anticipated to last 24 to 28 months, will preserve the current capacity of 46 beds, while updating many features to ensure patient and staff safety.

The renovations and new construction will create a contemporary, functional, and safe space with the youths’ needs in mind.  The themes of home, neighborhood, and community have been incorporated into the design plans, with a ‘Main Street’ connecting youth to the services they need during their stay.

Urbahn Architects has worked with OMH and the Dormitory Authority of the State of NY (DASNY) on the design plans, and RP Oak Hill Building Company, a Buffalo NY based employee-owned company, has been awarded the construction contract.

Strengthening Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents

Today’s groundbreaking is another successful initiative launched by Governor Kathy Hochul to strengthen the State’s mental health safety net and ensure that New Yorkers living with mental illness have the opportunities and resources necessary to find their way on the road to recovery and live full and productive lives.

During the Governor Kathy Hochul’s tenure, investments in critically important community mental health programs, services and initiatives have been enhanced by more than $813 million, an increase of more than 17 percent. 

Governor Hochul has been particularly supportive of programs and services that assist vulnerable children, adolescents and their families, and has dramatically increased funding for these services, including:

  • $50 million, over five years, in funding earmarked for grants to schools for mental health support services to improve access to mental health resources and to assist students who have experienced trauma; This is in addition to $10 million in increased funding for school-based mental health services in schools;
  • $21 million in funding awards for 15 Youth Assertive Community Treatment teams. New York is the first state in the nation to enact Youth Assertive Community Treatment teams, which serve children ages 10 to 21 and their families and services and support in the home and community settings. The teams allow young people who are at risk of entering residential or inpatient psychiatric treatment to receive services while remaining with their families and in their communities;
  • $10 million for increased Home Crisis Based Intervention services;
  • $10 million to expand Healthy Steps for integration of mental health services into primary care settings, which has been shown to improve health and behavioral health outcomes;
  • $10 million to expand the Trauma Informed Network throughout the child serving system to recognize and address the range of experiences that may be trauma-inducing for young children and their families;
  • $8 million in increased funding Children and Family Treatment and Support Services, allowing a greater focus on prevention and early intervention.
  • $7.5 million to increase rates for children’s Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs) to improve quality and preserve inpatient beds for the highest need children who require appropriate inpatient care.

 

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