Health Care and Wellness

Akron Children’s Expands Behavioral Health Services

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley is expanding its behavioral health services with the creation of a new space on its Boardman campus.

A $2.3 million renovation of the former Youngstown Hearing and Speech building on Southern Boulevard, expected to be open to patients Dec. 10. Among the features of the addition are a “decompression zone,” nine individual therapy rooms, an assessment room, group therapy rooms and staff offices. It also has ligature mitigated hardware to prevent self-harm and emergency buttons in each room.

According to Dr. Steven Jewell, chairman of the division of pediatric psychiatry and psychology for Akron Children’s, 20% of youths deal with mental illness that is severe enough to affect their daily lives, but only a fifth of them receive help.

“That is a sobering number, as it means that there are a significant number of adolescents with unrecognized mental illness who are going untreated and becoming increasingly at risk not only for future problems but also for the other issues associated with untreated mental illness, such as addiction and suicide,” Jewell said in a statement. “As a result, the need for behavioral health services for youth exceeds the capacity of available services in every county in Ohio, and that is no different in the Mahoning Valley.”

Akron Children’s Hospital will also launch its Partial Hospitalization Program in the Mahoning Valley Jan. 7. Already available at its Akron campus, the program provides outpatient treatment for adolescents and teens facing more severe mental illnesses.

The expansion will add about a dozen jobs to Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley. 

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.