December 19, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Plan to Allow St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to Stay Open with Inpatient Services

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Plan to Allow St....

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center (SLPC) in Ogdensburg will remain open to provide adults and childrens services to the local communities. Under a revised plan from the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the State will also expand community services including establishing a specialized, state-of-the-art Childrens Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (CBHCE) for the North Country at the SLPC.


Todays announcement is further proof of government working to meet the needs of New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo said. This plan was developed in response to significant input from stakeholders in the community, and maintains the operation of essential beds and programs while also providing new or expanded services where they are needed most. I commend the many families, community advocates and mental health professionals who came together, brought the facts to the table, and worked with the state on this issue in order to best meet the needs of the North Country.


Under the revised plan by OMH, the SLPC will maintain 68 beds in the facility, including maintaining 28 children and adolescent beds. The SLPC will continue the operation of essential programs including the childrens clinic and day treatment program, the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act program, the OASAS Alcohol Treatment Center, Northwoods Residential and State community programs located off campus.


The original plan called for the elimination of all 65 adult beds and 28 children and adolescent beds.


In addition to maintaining 68 beds at the facility, 50 community residential beds will be established. A reduction of one adult ward will achieve $3 million in savings which will be reinvested in the CBHCE, which will include:


  • 28 beds in the facility
  • Increased clinic capacity and access in targeted communities,
  • An expanded Day Treatment program which would increase the number of existing classrooms,
  • A new Mobile Integration Team to respond to calls from schools, families, and pediatric services to provide assessment, consultation, first line treatment, and linkages to services,
  • Expanded tele-psychiatry to improve access in rural settings and provide comprehensive assessments to facilitate connection to the most appropriate level of care (such as forensic/violence assessments, juvenile sex offender evaluation, psychological assessment for educational services), and
  • Evidenced-based treatment services at all sites including dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and multi-systemic therapy along with state of the art family based interventions to improve outcomes and increase youths resiliency.


New adult community-based services and programs made possible by the reinvestment also include:


  • Expanded Mobile Crisis and Support capacity with first episode psychosis and peer support capacity to provide assessment, consultation, first line treatment, and linkages to services. In addition, this team will provide case management like services to individuals struggling to maintain community tenure,
  • Increased clinic capacity and access in targeted counties,
  • A new community mental health forensic program to develop and manage pretrial release plans for seriously mentally ill persons entering jails in the North Country,
  • Expand tele-psychiatry to improve access in rural settings, and
  • Expand community access to the 24 bed Northwoods residential program for community hospitals to use as step-down units.


No further implementation of the Regional Centers of Excellence plan will take place until OMH, in consultation with the community and mental health advocates, evaluate the effectiveness of the expanded community services on the need for inpatient beds.