We all want our children to grow, thrive and live their best lives possible. And yet, nationally, the reality is that 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have or will have a serious mental illness that affects their personal growth and ability to thrive. And data suggests the prevalence of these mental health conditions in youth are increasing.
Cincinnati is not immune to the nation’s mental health crisis. Each day Cincinnati Children’s sees roughly 230 children in need of outpatient visits for mental and behavioral health issues and treats children in its 131 beds dedicated for psychiatric mental health care.
Cincinnati Children’s has one of the busiest pediatric emergency departments in the United States, with an average of 20 children a day arriving to the hospital due to a mental health emergency. In the past year alone, this number has peaked at more than 50 children a day.
The emergency department can already be a scary and unfamiliar place – and for a child in need of psychiatric evaluation, it can add stress and chaos to an already fragile mental state. As the number of children and teens with psychiatric emergencies continues to grow, there’s an increasing need for designated space and resources within the emergency department to care for our patients and families experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Kindervelt Psychiatric Emergency Assessment Center (KV PEACe) is intended to improve the comprehensive assessment, care and support of our mental health patients in these emergency situations.
Renovations will create a dedicated space for patients and their families to seek immediate care and mental health support. With six private beds, families will have a quiet space to receive care and make decisions in a calming and safe environment.
Funding for KV PEACe will also help support a comprehensive team of registered nurses, mental health specialists, and patient care assistants, and allow for the time needed to evaluate the child’s mental health and carefully determine care plans with family members, ensuring the best possible decision on next steps for patient care.