Gunther Lauds Governor Cuomo on Decision to Keep St. Lawrence and Greater Binghamton Children’s Beds Open

Monticello, NY – Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D, I, WF – Forestburgh), Chair of the Assembly Mental Health Committee released the following statement:

“After traveling across the state – from Ogdensburg to Long Island, Binghamton to Middletown – and hearing over 24 hours of testimony on the Regional Centers of Excellence proposal, I’m thrilled and relieved to learn that St. Lawrence and Greater Binghamton Children’s Psychiatric Centers will remain open. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Senators and Assemblymembers alike, have tirelessly advocated for their communities, and I’m proud to have worked side by side with them, the fierce community advocates, family members, OMH Commissioner Ann Sullivan and Governor Cuomo to preserve these critical services in the North Country and Southern Tier. Governor Cuomo has demonstrated true leadership by listening to the concerns of the community and making adjustments that respond to those concerns. I am hopeful the discussions will continue about Sagamore Children’s Psychiatric Center.

I will continue to work with the Governor and my colleagues to build up an unparalleled network of community-based services to prevent in-patient stays statewide through significant and consistent community re-investment, like that proposed in my Communities of Excellence Mental Health Re-Investment Act (A.7842-B/S.5631-B). In addition, we have a responsibility and obligation to reduce the stigma of mental illness, clearing a huge hurdle to treatment for both adults and children.

This is a rare day in government where every person, no matter branch, political affiliation or district, has come together to do the thing that is both right and good. We have put aside our differences and acted in the best interest of children and families suffering with mental illness, and I, like so many of those families, are grateful to have been a part of it.”