At a Nov. 22, 2016 press conference at the WNY CPC, CSEA Western Region President Flo Tripi addresses the media. All photos by Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2016.

WEST SENECA — Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center will remain in its current West Seneca location, thanks to activism by many of our Western Region members and community members who strongly opposed the center’s move.

The governor cited community input as the reason for the decision.

The state Office of Mental Health had proposed closing the center and moving its young patients to the grounds of Buffalo Psychiatric Center, which treats adults.

Community members strongly opposed the plan, noting the potential risks of having children in close proximity to adult patients. State officials promised that the children would never be in contact with the adults at Buffalo and began renovating a section of the adult facility to keep the child and adult patients separate.

Tom Weston, former President of CSEA Western New York DDSO Local 425 stands in support of maintaining children’s psychiatric services at the West Seneca center at a news conference on Nov. 22, 2016. All photos by Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2016.

Despite this, community members still opposed the plan. Over the past several years, our members, other center employees, former patients, family members of patients and other stakeholders strongly urged state officials to stop the plan.

“This is clearly a big win for the people of Western New York,” Western Region President Flo Tripi said. “Our members can continue to offer a high quality of mental health care to children and their families near their homes, which is a major factor in the children’s treatment of mental illness.”

“After a long battle, I am thrilled services will remain at the West Seneca facility,” said former Western New York DDSO Local President Tom Weston, whose local covers the children’s psychiatric center. “I am very proud of all our co-workers and community partners who didn’t give up the idea that it was best to keep things in West Seneca intact. This is a huge win for the families and workers of Western New York.”

-Ove Overmyer

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Ove Overmyer

Ove Overmyer is an award winning journalist who has promoted the virtue of working people and the value of public service throughout his career. His work has been published by many well-respected international media outlets, including PBS Moyers & Co., Steward Update UCS Worker Institute Cornell ILR, CBS News, The Weather Channel, SCI-FY Channel, AirAmerica.com, Associated Press and LOGO-TV. Before joining the CSEA Communications Department staff in 2015, Overmyer was a CSEA member and an officer of the union for more than 18 years. He covers a 14 county area of Western New York and lives in Rochester, NY.

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