Crisis Resources: CHKD opens two new units to address adolescent mental health

According to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, 20% of children across the country have a diagnosable mental illness.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author’s note: The video above is from a separate story on children’s mental health that aired on July 1, 2021.

Doctors across the country have found that an increasing number of children are in need of mental health care due to many stressors in recent years.

In December 2021, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a statement on the urgency our country must seize to find ways to address youth mental health issues, calling it a “crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.” was uncovered”.

For the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, the number of mental health visits and consultations increased from 14,385 in 2018 to 25,745 in 2021.

To address this issue for community members in Hampton Roads, CHKD recently renovated two units in its main hospital building to increase its capacity and accessibility.

A new seven-bed unit called Medical-Psychiatric has opened with the aim of catering to both the physical and spiritual needs of children in need.

This means that children with physical illnesses such as an eating disorder or after an overdose can receive treatment that stabilizes both their bodies and their minds.

“It’s a unique environment where mental health care is integrated into everyday medical procedures,” said Rachel Andam-Mejia, Director of Nursing, Patient Care Services at CHKD.

You can click here to watch a video dedicated to this unit and its purpose.

“During inpatient medical treatment, there is downtime when the child is recovering in bed, and we can now use that time to provide mental health care, such as teaching coping skills,” said Dr. Daniel Spencer, Deputy Chief of Psychiatry and Mental Health Services at CHKD.

“It’s a holistic, holistic approach that helps kids while they’re here and also gives them skills when they go back home.”

CHKD also renovated its emergency room, creating a six-bed unit used for children who arrive and are in an active mental health crisis. This area will be fully equipped with trained staff and privacy to make navigation easier for children and their families.

These latest additions to CHKD are part of a larger initiative they have launched through the creation of Children’s Pavilion, a 60-bed inpatient facility for children struggling with their mental health. It is scheduled to open later this year.

According to CHKD, 20% of children across the country have a diagnosable mental illness.

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