Dual Diagnosis Inpatient Unit to Open in Western New York

Unit Will Treat Youth with Co-occurring Developmental and Mental Health Disabilities in State-of-the-Art Facility

Albany, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) today announced plans to open a dual diagnosis inpatient unit for children and youth with co-occurring developmental and mental health disabilities. The unit, a collaboration between the two state agencies, will be housed in the building currently under renovation at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.

“Children and youth with both developmental and behavioral health needs in New York State are currently lacking a level of service that addresses their coexisting concerns,” said OMH Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “In many cases, these individuals are seeking help in Emergency Rooms or our Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Programs and the care they are receiving does not match their needs. This inpatient unit will provide them with a more focused and specialized level of care that is currently not available in the state.”

The Office of Mental Health will be seeking providers to operate the acute treatment unit, which will serve children and youth age 12 to 17. The unit will also work with a step-down program that is funded and certified by OMH in Western New York This program will help discharged youth adjust to a non-inpatient environment and receive transitional services before going home.

“This collaborative approach with OMH will help ensure that dually diagnosed individuals with more complex service needs have access to appropriate treatment options when they need them the most,” said OPWDD Acting Commissioner Kerry A. Delaney. “By providing families with an alternative for their loved one that meets their specialized needs, the new inpatient unit and step-down program will help us tackle the issue of unnecessary long-term hospital stays and ease the transition into less restrictive community-based settings for those who need more focused attention.”

The Dual Diagnosis Unit will not only fill a pressing need for unique services geared towards individuals with co-occurring developmental and behavioral health diagnoses, it will also repurpose the state-of-the-art space that is currently being designed and constructed for children-focused inpatient care.

This newly constructed space will provide this young population with a modern facility created specifically for youth who require inpatient services.