To The Editor:
I am writing to express my concern about the possible closing or downsizing of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center here in Ogdensburg. I was called to Ogdensburg 47 years ago to be the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church - which I served for 34 years. From the time I came to this city I have been very much impressed with the exceptional, compassionate quality of care the staff at the Psychiatric Center has provided to the thousands of patients they have served. The employees of this mental hospital have always taken pride in the work they do, and their competence and caring has been expressed in the warmth and respect they have conveyed to the patients. It has been the most meaningful factor in the healing process.
As well as the wonderful care of the hospital staff, the relative proximity to the patients North Country homes has been vital. Family, friends, and pastoral people like me have been close enough to visit patients and provide needed support to those we hold dear. This, too, is a significant and important part of healing. It is the necessary helping hand back to healthful community living.
It is my fervent hope that the Office of Mental Health will continue to support and strengthen the work which has been done so well for so long at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.
Rev. Thomas T. Patterson