Last Thursday the Crystal Charity Ball committee went on their annual bus tour to visit the year’s beneficiaries. The final stop was at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher explained how the CCB gift of $1,179,000 would benefit mental health emergencies at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
Midway in his talk, he alluded to an upcoming development that would further enhance the services provided by both Children’s Medical Center in Dallas and Plano for youngsters suffering from mental health issues. But he didn’t provide details, since the arrangement wasn’t ready then to go public.
Today it is.
The plans call for the Haven Behavioral Hospital of Frisco to become part of the Children’s Health Care Network, which is “a collaborative network of health care providers focused on improving the quality of care for children in the community.”
As Brent explains, “Haven is an acute care psychiatric hospital (literally located in Frisco), specializing in mental health and substance abuse issues for patients ranging in age from 12 years to senior adults. As part of our relationship with Haven, we can work with its staff to facilitate the transfer of patients, in accordance with applicable laws, who present on one of our campuses in need of inpatient behavioral health care to Haven’s inpatient program. This allows for increased access to an environment of care that best meets their needs, while decreasing the number of hours, or days, these patients are held in our ERs while we seek placement for them.
“Of course, you know that transformational change in the pediatric mental health space will not happen overnight,” Brent continued. “But, this is an encouraging step. Children’s Health will continue working to determine how we can collaborate appropriately to address this growing need.”
In other words, if a child arrives at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas or Plano showing signs of mental health issues and requiring inpatient care, they may be treated at Children’s or referred to another community resource like Haven Behavioral Hospital of Frisco, which is joining the Children’s network.
In this day and age when all too often children are taking their own lives and dealing with traumatic situations, this new relationship will be lifesaving and life-changing for area youngsters and their families.