To The Editor:
To state Office of Mental Health acting Commissioner Kristin M. Woodlock:
I am writing to you today to support the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center as a regional center of excellence as proposed by the Office of Mental Health, State Operations: A Vision for the Future. The history of the SLPC along with its location on the banks of the majestic St. Lawrence River, positive community support, and skilled employees shows that they have a great foundation to being a RCE.
Point Airy, the current site of the SLPC, was chosen in 1887 as the perfect site for a new state hospital and in 1890 the first patients were received. The site was safe, clean and peaceful, considered a perfect location for healing the mind. Locating the hospital near the city of Ogdensburg was also a positive attribute as it was, and still is today, a supportive, caring community that has a continues to be accepting of the changes that have occurred to the SLPC over the years. Most importantly our community has openly accepted and assisted those with disabilities.
The extended care that is provided in this community is well rounded, beginning with early detection, providing both inpatient and outpatient care with several opportunities for following up and support. Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center boats an excellent mental health evaluation program through their Emergency Department. They have inpatient services and great referral organizations for outpatient, follow-up care, and support. St. Lawrence-NYSARC, Seaway House, Step-By-Step, and the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services and Community Services Department are among those to offer services for the mentally ill.
Some of the services offered are: day habilitation services, family support and respite, vocational services, residential services, community arts programs, financial assistance and guidance, rehabilitation, skill development, peer advocacy, peer counseling and support, socialization, community outings, arts and crafts, daily living skills, computer training and emergency crisis services.
The SLPC has an enviable record of caring for the mentally challenged for over 123 years. They employ clinically and culturally competent mental health care that is near impossible to duplicate. The caring culture that has been nurtured in this community for people with cognitive disabilities over the years continues today to provide support to the disabled and their family members.