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OMH lengthens time for Ogdensburg listening tour stop

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OGDENSBURG — The state Office of Mental Health has extended by an hour Wednesday’s listening tour session at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center on the future of mental health care in the state.

The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the psychiatric center’s Unity Center, 1 Chimney Point Drive. It had previously been scheduled until noon.

The time was extended “in response to a very large number of registrations for the upcoming Listening Tour stop in Ogdensburg,” OMH said in a news release Thursday. “In consideration of the significant number of citizens who have requested to speak, OMH asks that speakers summarize or prioritize the comments within a two-minute time frame. Individuals wishing to speak will be chosen at random via lottery.”

OMH spokesman Benjamin Rosen said more than 200 people have so far registered to attend Wednesday’s meeting, and of those, more than 50 have indicated they wish to speak.

“That’s why we extended the time period,” he said, “so everybody gets a chance for their voice to be heard.”

OMH has limited to two minutes the time frame in which speakers may comment.

Those with lengthy comments are asked to bring written copies to the meeting or fill out an online form at www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/excellence/comment_card.html.

To register for the meeting, go online to http://www.omh.ny.gov/omhweb/excellence/registration.html.

The meeting is being held, according to OMH’s news release, to “provide an overview of the forces of change in the national and state health care systems as well as the opportunities for improving the north country’s behavioral health system.”

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