I wanted to write to you to let you know how your efforts have helped so many young people who are battling emotional and mental health challenges. Your hard work and generosity have made the Kindervelt Psychiatric Emergency Assessment Center (KV PEACe) a great success. In the past fiscal year 2646 patients have been served in the KVPEACe space. These numbers reflect the many children and adolescents who come to the emergency room in severe crisis. They are often presenting with serious complaints of depression, suicidal thoughts, and hopelessness. Frequently their history is one of longstanding suffering that has not been treated or addressed. KVPEACe is often the first location for those beginning steps of a journey to recovery. By being in a suitable space and environment that is caring, builds trust, ensures safety, and promotes healing, caregivers are able to work with the young people and their families to improve outcomes, restore optimism and positively change the trajectory of a young person’s life.
As you may know, across the nation, mental health care for children, adolescents and their families is in a near crisis situation. Most children who are disabled from behavioral and emotional difficulties never receive any treatment and those that do it is often inadequate. Suicide rates are increasing in young people with suicide now being the second leading cause of death in adolescents. By having a specialized program and a welcoming location that is designed to help these type of patients we are able to deliver a powerful message of caring for these young people. This message combats the stigma that surrounds many of these difficulties and promotes those early steps in engagement in treatment.
The KVPEACe space and this Kindervelt initiative has allowed the Psychiatry Division and the Children’s Hospital improve the service delivery for all patients in the hospital. For psychiatry patients it has led to the additional development of our Psychiatry Bridge Clinic. This urgent clinic option has allowed many patients to step down from the psychiatric emergency room situation to an urgent care type follow-up program that helps customize care to the needs of the patient and avoid hospitalization. This clinic has served 348 patients by direct evaluation and provided additional care management to 528 patients. Less than 10 of these patient needed hospitalization and almost all were successfully engaged in longer term care in the community. In addition, KVPEACe has helped the hospital manage the numbers of young people who come to the emergency room for care. This additional space has greatly helped decompress a crowded emergency room and decrease overflow of psychiatric patients onto much needed medical services. It has benefitted the whole institution.
Speaking for the entire Division of Psychiatry, the Children’s Hospital, the thousands of patients and families served, I want to express to all the members of Kindervelt our deepest gratitude. You are making a great impact on so many lives. Thank you for all the hard work, the concern for others, and your giving spirit. Your actions are an inspiration to all of us.
Many Thanks and Warmest Regards,
Michael T. Sorter, M.D.
Director, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Cincinnati Children’s Hospital