WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Patients were picketing the closing of two mental health facilities in our area. Patients gathered at the Community Counseling Service in Wilkes-Barre, in protest of the news that both the CCS and First Hospital in Kingston, will soon close their doors.

One of the patients’ picketing also started a petition in the hope of getting enough signatures to send it to a senator. Patients also voiced their complaints and fears about a future without the facilities.

“Like it really is going to affect a lot of people,” said patient, Ruth Freeman. “You gotta think that we’ve been with these people for months and months and months in, don’t you think we start to learn people? That’s something important to us.”

“I don’t think it’s fair, cause we’re like a family here,” stated patient, Albert Travis. “There’s different programs for us but it’s not. I don’t think it would be the same. I mean we’re splitting up as a family.”

Commonwealth Health which operates the Community Counseling Service and First Hospital announced last week they plan to close the facilities in October, due to a lack of staffing.