Local Akron Children’s Hospital spends $2.3 million to expand mental health program

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The new services will provide support to children who may struggle with mental health

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Akron Children’s Hospital is expanding its behavioral health services in the Mahoning Valley.

The hospital took on a $2.3 million project to address the growing need for behavioral health services for children.

“Akron Children’s has always been committed to providing behavioral health services out in the Mahoning Valley. This has been about a five-year plan that is now coming to fruition. So we’re very excited to provide these services,” said Clinical Operations Director Doug Straight.

Straight said these services will provide support to children who may struggle with mental health.

“Things from depression, anxiety and bullying that we can certainly help them navigate those situations in a healthy manner and work with their families to be able to provide that support,” he said.

The expansion of the program means a new facility.

The new building will have nine individual therapy rooms, an assessment room, group therapy spaces and separate office workspace for staff.

In addition to their individual therapy services, the new site will also have a partial hospitalization program for adolescents and teens.

“How that program is set up is that they’ll come in the morning and they’ll be here Monday through Friday for about six hours a day. So it’s intensive in a sense that we’re providing that continuum of care,” Straight said.

“I think it’s really going to help the community a lot because any time you have the ability to help a child understand, number one, what feelings they have and what emotions that they have to recognize them, and to be able to open up about it can only benefit them in the long run,” said parent Melissa Brown.

The project is expected to be completed and ready for patients by December.

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