Closure of psych. ward has county looking for answers

NORWICH - Fox Hospitalís announcement earlier this month that it would cease providing psychiatric services by July 1 has put officials of Chenango County Mental Hygiene Services into a tailspin.

The department has been able to rely on the Oneonta-based hospitalís 28 available beds and after-hours crisis intervention center for the past 17 years. Director Mary Ann Spryn said the department receives approximately 400 crisis calls a month, and has regularly occupied up to four of Foxís available beds.

Mental health patients in Chenango, Otsego, Delaware and Schoharie counties will be affected by the closure. All four counties have been in discussion with the New York State Office of Mental Health, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, United Health Services of Binghamton and another unnamed Broome County facility. Spyrn said OMH has requested Fox remain open through September.

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