Beyond the Hospital: A Community of Behavioral Health Care
Feb 28, 2020
Mental illness starts younger, and its impact is broader, than many people realize. Consider these statistics:
1 in 5 children is living with a significantly impairing mental illness
50% of mental illnesses start by age 14
Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death in 10 to 19 year-olds
Those are shocking numbers, and they are part of the reason why Nationwide Children’s Hospital is opening an extraordinary new facility in the coming weeks. The Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion will allow us to expand the services we already offer in Ohio, and to conduct the kind of research that will help children around the world.
Because of its innovative design and potential, there is no place quite like the Pavilion anywhere else in the United States. It will help change lives.
But we also know that the Pavilion is not enough. In fact, it may not even be the best place to receive care for some families and children in our community.
The Pavilion will be a hub for acute and crisis care, for young people who need intensive interventions. Many patients who would benefit from behavioral health care won’t need it at that level, however. In most cases, those young people would be best served by visiting a community behavioral health care provider. Even many primary care pediatricians and school-based health care providers are now comfortable handling some common behavioral health concerns, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This concept is what many in the behavioral health care field call a “system of care” or “network of care.” The idea is that an individual child’s specific needs drive the care they receive, and there is a broad, coordinated array of services and supports that exist for children. The Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion is a critical part of the system in our community. But it is only a part.
When we were designing the Pavilion, we had the central Ohio system of care at the front of our minds. Nationwide Children’s expanded services will complement the many wonderful community partners that are already providing care. We will serve as a resource when those partners need our assistance. And once young people who do need the intensive services of the Pavilion are ready to leave, we would work to appropriately transition them to community providers.
I invite you to learn more about the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion, and to pay special attention to the section called “Community Commitment.” We’ll continue to work together with the dozens of organizations listed there to ensure every child finds a place in our system of care.
Tim Robinson is the chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Mr. Robinson first joined Nationwide Children’s in 1995, and his innovative approach to navigating complex economic, regulatory and business challenges has helped the hospital transform from an important regional children’s health care system into a preeminent academic medical center.
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