CHMC officers hope to open a brand new youngsters’s psychological well being division this fall | Well being points
OGDENSBURG – Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center (CHMC) officials are aiming to open its new children’s mental health department in October, a program that will focus on patients ages 4-17.
Construction on the new unit began in November 2020, according to Sarah Gordinier, director of child and adolescent mental health at CHMC, and although construction could be completed in September, officials hope it will open sometime this fall.
“We currently don’t have an official opening date. We’re aiming for October, ”said Gordinier. “Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is honored to provide this much-needed service to our community. We strive to promote the well-being and recovery of our children and adolescents. We look forward to making a positive impact on our children and our community, ”said Gordinier.
The Children’s Mental Health Department will complement the hospital’s current 28-bed inpatient mental health department, established in 1990. The unit is aimed at patients between the ages of four and 17 years.
“Our multidisciplinary team will focus on providing our patients with the best possible care. Treatment includes group and individual counseling, education, family therapy, recreation, skills building, and discharge planning. We will focus on delivering treatment through skill building, problem solving and life skills building, ”said Gordinier. “The children’s mental health department uses cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Groups are used to teach coping strategies, address safety issues, and learn alternative ways to deal with feelings and emotions. “
The department will create a team approach to an individual treatment plan for each child, according to Gordinier, to help them meet their individual goals. The team consists of a psychiatrist, psychiatric NP, social workers, occupational therapists, family representatives, teachers, discharge and usage review planners, mental health professionals, LPNs, and registered nurses.
“This unit will bring 35 new jobs to Claxton Hepburn Medical Center. Some of these positions will be filled with current CMHC employees and others with new external employees, ”she said.
Gordinier said there has been a growing demand for child psychiatric services for a number of years, adding that these services are urgently needed not just in our country but across the country.
From January 2020 to July 2021, according to Gordinier, a total of 646 children aged 4 to 17 came to the CHMC’s emergency room.
“Of these 646 patients, 333 had to be hospitalized. This makes up about 48% of all psychiatric visits to the pediatric emergency room that require inpatient services for the given time frame, ”she said.
“Claxton Hepburn Medical Center is committed to meeting the needs of children in need of psychiatric treatment. The goal is to provide short term stabilization and ensure the children are brought back to their communities while helping them stabilize and improve their overall wellbeing, ”she told Service. Improving the mental health of our children will help our community by providing our children with the means to cope with the ongoing challenges they face on a daily basis. This unit will help provide children and families with stabilization services as well as ongoing community services so that they can be successful in their lives. “
Gordinier stated that Children’s Mental Health will work closely with external community resources and that the discharge process will play an important role in treatment planning.
“It is critical that we can provide our patients with the services they need outside of the hospital to help them recover. We will have a dedicated staff who will ensure that all discharge planning is done to suit the individual needs of the patient as well as the needs of the families to ensure they are set up for success, ”said Gordinier.
She stated that St. Lawrence County is fortunate to have a variety of mental health services, be it traditional outpatient wellness services, home services, in-school services, or community services such as the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Clubs, St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau, and other.
“There are many resources in our community that people may not be aware of. Claxton Hepburn Children’s Mental Health ensures that every patient receives the appropriate care they need before they leave our facility, ”said Gordinier.
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