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Children's invests in pediatric mental health

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 20:34:31-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Children's Hospital Colorado is investing in mental and behavioral health services for kids and teens in our community. The health care provider is planning to open a new outpatient behavioral health clinic in Colorado Springs next year.

As News 5 has reported, youth suicides occur more frequently in El Paso County than in other communities around the state. That trend grew worse during the pandemic.

"From April to the end of the year, the number of youth suicides in El Paso County doubled, that's not acceptable to anyone, or it shouldn't be acceptable to anyone," said Greg Raymond, the chief operating officer for Children's Hospital.

Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the health care provider is planning to open a new daytime pediatric partial outpatient behavioral health program in a building they plan to remodel along Telstar Drive.

"So, our intent is to provide outpatient services to help kids and adolescents, teenagers, as they struggle and deal with those struggles on a daily basis in the most appropriate environment possible," Raymond explained.

The facility will also offer a partial-hospitalization program, which means an increased level of care and services. Raymond explained that it's similar to what a child might receive during a psychiatric hospitalization but with some changes.

"They get to go home and spend the evening with their families, have dinner with their families, sleep in their beds and then come back the next day and receive that same level of care."

The investment is Children's goal to establish wrap-around services for kids and teens who need help locally, rather than ask them to drive to Denver.

"What we're doing is we're investing in services that don't exist here today," said Raymond.

The donation that helped make this facility possible came in the form of a challenge grant in hopes of encouraging additional donations.

Click here to visit the hospital's donation portal.