ALBANY, NY - The doctors, nurses, technicians and social workers who provide health care services at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center are blasting the announcement Tuesday, January 31 by the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) to close the Brooklyn facility.
The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) represents the workers who want lawmakers to understand the services at risk.
"The plan to close Kingsboro is wrong and irresponsible," said PEF Vice President Pat Baker. "Brooklyn has the highest use of mental health services of any county in the state. Closing Kingsboro would leave the largest consumer of mental health services with no local inpatient care beyond short-term stays in local general hospitals," Baker said.
The OMH has not even waited for the elected representatives of the citizens to vote, it has already sent out notices announcing its plans to close Kingsboro and send patients and their families more than two-and-a-half hours away to South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island. Kingsboro serves a predominantly poor and minority population.
The mental health workers at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center want to continue providing services in an area where there is a critical need for mental health beds serving the underprivileged.
PEF is calling on state lawmakers to step in and preserve mental health care services in central Brooklyn by stopping the closure.