Kaweah Health’s Mental Health Hospital will add a fourth ward to provide psychiatric services to children and adolescents under the age of 18.
The new 22-bed wing will serve up to 684 young people in its first year, scheduled for 2025.
Kaweah Health Chief Executive Officer Gary Herbst said: “The Valley has very few adolescent psychiatric hospitalizations, so it’s great to be able to do this for our community.”
The mental health hospital at 1100 S. Akers St. allocates 14 beds for teenagers and 8 beds for children, regardless of insurance or financial situation. This means that you will not be denied mental health services.
They work with psychiatrists, licensed therapists, registered nurses and psychiatric technicians to provide health education and other mental health services such as therapy and psychosocial assessments.
The new wing will be funded by an $8.5 million grant from the Health Care Services Division’s Behavioral Health Continuity Infrastructure Program. According to Kaweah Health officials, 20 percent of her children in Tulare County experience a mental health crisis each year, and one in three does not receive care or mental health services.
“Children’s mental health services are sorely needed in Silicon Valley. Now we can provide these services in our own backyard,” says Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. said Cory D. Jaques, M.D., program director of Kaweah Health’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship.
Due to high demand for mental health services, Wing will first provide priority access to children in Tulare County. Kaweah Health has contracted with Tulare County Mental Health Services to accept children and adolescents.
Natalie Bolin, deputy director of mental health for Tulare County’s Health and Social Services Authority (HHSA), said she was thrilled about the new partnership with Kaweah Health.
“We value our partnerships with Kaweah Health and all community service providers. “We are excited about the Stabilization Unit,” Bolin said.
This is the second grant Kaweah Health has received this year. HHSA and Kaweah Health announced earlier this year that he received a $4.9 million grant to support the Child and Adolescent Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) to open this summer in Visalia. The 12-bed, 24/7 CSU provides crisis intervention services for people 21 and under.
“Children in need of care are now being rushed to the emergency room when they are in crisis. It could be,” said Jaques. “These two projects will change the mental health of children here in Tulare County.”
Bolin said previously, due to lack of resources in the Valley, children have to seek services outside the county as well, but they are rarely accepted.
“The shortage of inpatient psychiatric beds for young people experiencing a psychiatric crisis can pose a danger to themselves and others and is a statewide crisis. If we need species care, we turn to mental hospitals statewide,” Bolin said. “But other counties are also trying to get the same beds, so it’s often difficult to get access in a timely manner.”
Kaweah Health currently offers adolescent care at clinics in Exeter, Lindsay, and Dinuba. Kaweah Health’s Mental Health Hospital also offers inpatient psychiatric services for adults.