As the need for mental health treatment for local youth grows, the local organization expands

“Right now we are housed in separate physical locations, which is not very efficient because we have outpatient staff in one location and providers moving from one location to another, so this will be much more efficient because everyone will be in same building,” she said.

Springfield Mental Health Services With New Addition Thursday, August 18, 2022 BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Springfield Mental Health Services With New Addition Thursday, August 18, 2022 BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

This project, which is carried out by Kapp construction, is an extension of the main building to have more space.

“We have a major construction project that will expand services for children. It is an extension of the main building. Kapp Construction did an amazing job being very efficient in building the entire addition to the youth program building,” Rieger said.

The new 11,700-square-foot facility will be combined with the existing building, but will have separate entrances. It is expected to open in mid-September and will bring existing programs into the new space as well as some expanded services.

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The facility is nearing completion at about 90 percent completion, Rieger said.

“It really increases the compactness, so there will be room for growth. This augments the primary care we offer. It’s just going to be a lot more convenient for the family to come to the same place and see their doctor, primary care, therapist and get treatment,” she said.

The first floor of the new facility will be for outpatient and youth programs, currently located at 1835 Miracle Mile, and the second floor will be for the Youth Challenge Treatment Day Program, which is at 924 E. Home Road, Chief Financial Officer Marybeth Taylor I said.

A ribbon cutting for the new facility will also be scheduled at a later date.

According to the MHRB and CCCHD’s 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of middle and high school students in Clark County, 26.4 percent of middle school students and 36.3 percent of high school students reported that their mental health was or was not good most of the time, or always during COVID -19.

Youth mental health during COVID. Alexis Larsen/Contributing Artist

Youth mental health during COVID.  Alexis Larsen/Contributing Artist

Youth mental health during COVID. Alexis Larsen/Contributing Artist

“I think this data strongly shows that over a quarter of middle school students and over a third of high school students say their mental health during COVID-19 is not good most of the time or always,” said Greta Meyer, CEO of Mental Health and Recovery Council.

The results also show that 18.3 percent of middle school students and 21.3 percent of high school students’ parents or other adults in their homes have lost their jobs, even for a short time, during COVID-19. This is important because it could potentially affect the income and stability of family households during the pandemic.

“(This) is important because it could potentially affect the income and stability of family households during the pandemic,” Mayer said.

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The results show that 21.4% of middle school students and 29.2% of high school students report that their mental health is often not good at least most of the time; 26.3% of secondary school students and 20.6% of high school students have seriously thought about suicide; 18.8% of middle school students and 17.2% of high school students have made a plan to attempt suicide; and 11% of middle school students and 9.3% of high school students have attempted suicide.

Some tips for helping mental health, especially in children, include intervening before it becomes a crisis and early intervention.

“I’m also looking for it for kids who might not talk about it the way adults would, but something has changed in their life so they can be evaluated and we can make sure they’re safe.” , said CEO Kelly Rieger.

The center has walk-in hours so those in need can come in early without an appointment.

Rieger said signs of mental health problems in children can include any change in behavior, lack of enjoyment in activities they used to do, change in friends or lack of interest in friends, any change in sleep or appetite, and any change in their mood.

To help combat youth mental health issues, MHS has several initiatives, according to Chief Operating Officer Jill Sokolnicki:

  • Zero Suicide Training with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other community partners.
  • Functional Family Therapy, intensive home treatment to support youth involved in multiple systems such as mental health, criminal justice, social care and developmental disabilities.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based training used in children and adults who are treating trauma through bilateral stimulation.
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Program with the Division of Children’s Services of the Department of Job and Family Services to help children in the system get disorders.

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