When a child’s mental health suffers so much that their daily functioning is disrupted, but they don’t require 24-hour care, a new outpatient facility opening today in Roseville hopes to be the answer.
Children’s Minnesota will open its second inpatient mental health program for children and adolescents on Monday at the Minnesota Children’s Mental Health Specialty Clinic in Roseville.
“The opening of our mental health program in Roseville is the latest step in our long-term strategy to improve access to the full continuum of mental health services tailored to the unique needs of children and youth in our community,” said Dr. Gigi Chawla, vice president and chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota. “We have seen firsthand the growing demand for youth mental health care in our hospitals and clinics. Our new location will help more families get the care they need, where they need it.
Unlike an inpatient program for children who need immediate and urgent hospitalization for their safety or the safety of others, this is a program where children and adolescents can come in during the day and go home in the evening, according to Jessica Brisbois, head of acute mental health. services at Children’s Minnesota.
For example, if a child suffers from anxiety so intense that he cannot go to school, this is a place where he could go to work on his coping skills with doctors, nurses, therapists and the personal. Placing them on a 24-hour hold in the inpatient program would not help them in this case, she said.
The opening comes about two months after Children’s Minnesota opened its first inpatient mental health unit at his Saint-Paul hospital.
The program may provide ongoing intensive outpatient therapy for children and adolescents leaving hospital, or may be an option to avoid hospitalization.
The outpatient program typically lasts three to four weeks, Brisbois said. During this time, facilitators will work with school officials to keep track of assignments. There will also be the possibility of transition days, where a child can go to school one day to practice their skills, then return to the program the next day to revise.
The program is open to students statewide, not just residents of Roseville, according to Brisbois.
Most children are referred by other doctors or discharged from an inpatient program, but since it is sometimes difficult to get in touch with a therapist, the establishment will offer parents in need the possibility of having an evaluation their child for this program or another, she said. .
Children’s Minnesota opened its first outpatient facility in July 2021 at its specialty center in Lakeville. The Lakeville location is smaller and can only accommodate eight children at a time. The need is such for this type of establishment that people have to drive more than an hour to bring their child there just for the day.
The Roseville location can currently serve eight children, ages 13 to 18, but Brisbois said by summer they hope to have enough staff to serve 24 students ages 6 to 18.
Each year, the facility plans to care for up to 350 children, making it “one of the few programs offering this level of acute mental health care to children as young as 6 years old in the Metro East”, depending on the hospital.
Children’s emergency rooms in Minnesota St. Paul and Minneapolis saw some 1,800 young people last year who showed signs of acute mental health needs, a 30% increase from the previous year, which was also an increase over the previous year.
Dr. Marc Gorelick, chief executive of Children’s Minnesota, told attendees at the inaugural inpatient program last November that in 2021, suicidal ideation — or thoughts — has become one of the top five diagnoses in the hospital system and the second leading cause of death. for teens statewide.
Unlike the smaller Lakeville facility, the Roseville location offers a gym and assistance in addition to traditional talk therapy, Brisbois said.
“We find that what is important is to involve children in different ways,” she said.
In addition to the gym, natural light, and soothing, sensory spaces, the facility offers children individual therapy, family therapy, medication management, and group therapies, such as music and therapy. art therapy.