Children’s mental health is without a doubt the most important aspect of any child’s social and cognitive development. Until now there was no inpatient facility for children younger than 12 struggling with a mental health crises. However, thanks to CHOC Childrens, a brand new 12,000-square foot, 18-bed facility will be the only facility in Orange County to treat patients younger than 12. Further, it is the only facility in California to offer all private rooms, as well as an option for parents to stay overnight with their children, as appropriate.
How amazing is it that we are bringing more attention to this subject?! All children deserve to receive high quality services without stigma or barriers to access.
Tour Of The Facility
The Center’s other unique features include:
- two sensory rooms – one sensory-rich and the other low-stimulation to help children learn to manage strong emotions and calm themselves.
- a 3,600-square-foot outdoor play area with sensory activities and basketball court.
- mental health triage at the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital
- an early childhood mental health initiative that is aimed at reducing behavior-related suspensions from child care and preschool settings; and faith community partnerships.
I had an opportunity to explore one of the sensory rooms and they have some really neat equipment in there. one of them is a bubble tube that lights up and changes colors. there is also a large foam dice and whatever color the child rolls, the lights in the room will change to that color. It is very soothing and helps children calm and focus themselves. Another piece of equipment was a a soft bristle wall with fiber optic lights in it that kids can touch.
The Center’s innovative floor plan was designed with guidance from national experts and incorporates elements of several exemplary programs observed by CHOC staff. It was built with two primary goals in mind: patient safety and creating an optimal healing environment. To that end, the facility incorporates safety features such as shatterproof glass, special high-density materials, doors that open one at a time, and many other measures. Meanwhile, the Center’s design includes elements of nature, curved features and a soothing color palette to promote healing and relaxation.
With Dr. Hoang “Wayne” D. Nguyen as its medical director, the Center will serve patients ages 3 to 17, with specialty programming available to children 12 and younger. Patients will participate in therapeutic programming seven days a week, which is unique among inpatient facilities. During their stay, typically five to seven days, patients will also have access to medical specialists if assessments suggest a relationship between the mental health condition and an underlying health issue.
Other aspects include mental health triage at the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital; an early childhood mental health initiative set to begin in spring 2018 that is aimed at reducing behavior-related suspensions from child care and preschool settings; and faith community partnerships.
STUDENT GUIDE TO MENTAL HEALTH
Facts About mental Health
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in children and young adults ages 10-24
- 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
- Approximately 50 percent of students with a mental illness age 14 and older drop out of high school; this is the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
- Research shows that early identification and intervention can minimize the long-term disability of mental disorders.