MINNEAPOLIS, Minn (KFGO/WCCO) – Children’s Minnesota will open its first inpatient mental health care center later this month in St. Paul, aiming to help treat hundreds of children and teenagers every year with a variety of conditions and symptoms.
Dr. Marc Gorelick, president and CEO of Children’s Minnesota, said that as children face an unprecedented mental health crisis, it is imperative to invest in mental health care as deliberately as possible. other medical treatments.
“Children today desperately need access to comprehensive mental health care, no matter where they are on their journey,” Gorelick said. “We are proud to join other leaders in the region in providing highly specialized care that is deeply compassionate and designed just for children.”
The 22 patient rooms will be designed for parents to stay with their children, which Sue Abderholden of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness said is essential for treating most young patients.
“For some kids, especially if they have other things like they’re on the autism spectrum, (or) they maybe have developmental disabilities, developmental disabilities, or high anxiety — it can in makes it be better for the parent to be there”. said Abderholden.
Abderholden acknowledged the role the pandemic has played in bringing mental health issues to the forefront for people of all ages.
“We had adults who were very stressed by the pandemic, worried about catching (COVID-19),” she said. “So many people have also died during the pandemic. So all of these things had an impact on the children.
Parents may look for simple changes in their children’s behavior as signs that they may be dealing with larger and more complex mental health issues.
Abderholden said that could mean small changes in eating or sleeping habits.
“In one study, 2/3 of parents say their children have mental health issues,” she said. “So we need to look at the duration and intensity of those symptoms.”
Minnesota children’s officials hope to be able to treat 1,000 children – as young as six – a year, and the new St. Paul facility will open Nov. 29.