When a child’s mental health is so affected that their daily functioning is disrupted, but they don’t need 24-hour care, a new outpatient facility opening today in Roseville hopes to address the problem.
Minnesota Children’s Hospital will open its second mental health partial residency program for children and adolescents Monday at the Minnesota Children’s Mental Health Specialty Clinic in Roseville.
“The launch of our Roseville mental health program is the latest step in our long-term strategy to improve access to comprehensive mental health services tailored to the unique needs of our community’s children and youth,” said Dr. Gigi Chawla, Vice President and Chief of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Minnesota. “In our hospitals and clinics, we’ve seen first-hand the growing demand for mental health care among young people. Our new location will help more families get the care they need, where they need it.”
Jessica Brisbois, acute mental health manager, said that unlike an inpatient program for children who need urgent immediate hospital care for their own safety or the safety of others, this is an inpatient program where children and teens can come in during the day and then at night. Homecoming Program Children’s Services of Minnesota.
For example, if a child is unable to attend school due to anxiety, this is the place they can go to learn coping skills with doctors, nurses, therapists and staff. In that case, having them held 24 hours in an inpatient program wouldn’t help them, she said.
About two months ago, Minnesota Children’s Hospital opened its first inpatient mental health unit at its St. Paul hospital.
The program can provide continued intensive outpatient care for children and adolescents who are discharged from the hospital, or it can be used as an option to prevent hospitalization.
Outpatient programs typically last three to four weeks, Brisbois said. During this time, counselors will work with school officials to complete assignments. There are also opportunities for transition days, where a child can go to school one day to practice his or her skills, then return to the program the next day to review them.
Brisbois said the program is open to students across the state, not just Roseville residents.
She said most of the children were referred by other doctors or were transitioning from the inpatient program, but because it can sometimes be difficult to receive help from a therapist, the facility will offer parents in need to enroll their children in the program or other program evaluation opportunities.
Children’s Minnesota opened its first outpatient facility in July 2021 in a specialty center in Lakeville. The Lakeville location is smaller and can only accommodate eight kids at a time. The demand for this type of facility is so great that it takes over an hour for people to get their kids there 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.
The facility is expected to care for up to 350 children a year, making it “one of the few programs in the Eastern Metro that provides this level of acute mental health care for 6-year-olds,” according to the hospital.
Children’s Minnesota St. Paul and Minneapolis emergency rooms saw approximately 1,800 teens showing signs of serious mental health needs last year, a 30 percent increase from the previous year and an increase from the year before.
Dr. Marc Gorelick, CEO of Children’s Hospital of Minnesota, told attendees at the inpatient program’s grand opening last November that by 2021, suicidal ideation (or thoughts) will be one of the hospital system’s top five diagnoses and the second The top causes of death apply to teens across the state.
Unlike the smaller Lakeville facility, the Roseville facility offers a gym and assistance in addition to traditional talk therapy, Brisbois said.
“What we’ve found to be important is engaging kids in a number of different ways,” she said.
In addition to a gym, natural light and calm, sensory-friendly spaces, the facility offers children individual therapy, family therapy, medication management and group therapies such as music and art therapy.