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Citizen Advocates drops out of plan to take over outpatient mental health care in Glens Falls

GLENS FALLS — Citizen Advocates has decided not to take over the outpatient mental health programs that Glens Falls Hospital wants to stop providing.

The changeover has been in the works since November. Citizen Advocates had promised to hire all of the existing staff and increase services, particularly by offering immediate help to walk-ins.

The programs in question provide outpatient care to adults, children, and people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. The hospital plans to continue running inpatient mental health and will keep on running outpatient care until an agency can take it over.

Citizen Advocates told county officials this week that it was dropping out.

Counselors were taken by surprise. One counselor said she found out Thursday when Glens Falls Hospital told her it was canceling a wait list of 20 to 30 patients.

Citizen Advocates did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Rob York, director of community services, whose job is to make sure Warren and Washington county residents have access to mental health care, said he has already started searching for a new agency.

“We do have other agencies that have expressed interest, so we are now exploring with them. The Warren and Washington Community Services Boards will meet later today to make some decisions on how to proceed,” he said. “A potential provider, Behavioral Health Services North will be presenting to the Boards. They were one of the agencies we considered last year before selecting Citizen Advocates.”

Citizen Advocates is based in Malone and also has offices in Saranac Lake and Massena. Behavioral Health Services North is based in Plattsburgh and also has an office in Morrisonville.

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