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Akron Children’s Hospital’s new behavioral health center opening in Mahoning Valley

12-04-2019 (Mahoning Valley, Ohio )

Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley will offer expanded behavioral health services in a newly renovated space on its campus starting Dec. 10.

With nine therapy rooms and space for group sessions, the new site will help address the growing need for behavioral health services for children and teens.

Dr. Steven Jewellthe Lois C. Orr Endowed Chair of the Division of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology for Akron Children's Hospital, said the $2.3 million project will allow Akron Children’s to double the number of behavioral health patient visits in the Youngstown area within the first year.

“Families of the Mahoning Valley, like much of the rest of Ohio, are in need of more behavioral health support,” Jewell said. “Having a dedicated space specially designed for the programs and services we offer is one way we hope to make navigating the search for mental health help easier for parents and their children.”

In addition to individual mental health therapy and psychiatry services, the new site will allow the hospital to establish its Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) here for adolescents and teens in need of more intensive outpatient treatment. The program – which provides a variety of therapies and family supports -- will begin Jan. 7. Akron Children’s provides the same program on its Akron campus.

PHP was designed to help teens improve their functioning, develop healthy coping skills and stabilize their mental status. The program includes family therapy, goal setting and an opportunity to keep up with school work. Teens spend all day in the program and are home in time for dinner. They typically participate in the program for two weeks or more.

For the expansion, Akron Children’s purchased and renovated the former Youngstown Hearing and Speech building on Southern Boulevard, which is on its Boardman campus. The building includes individual therapy rooms, an assessment room, group therapy spaces and separate office workspace for staff.

The building also includes features unique to it, such as a “decompression zone” in an alcove where patients in need of a break can retreat. Also included in the renovation is the use of ligature mitigated hardware, to prevent self-harm, and emergency buttons in each room in case a staff member needs assistance. The hospital’s Public Safety department will also have a presence for added security.

Prior to the expansion, behavioral health services were provided in Building C at the hospital, located at 6505 Market St. The expansion has resulted in about a dozen new jobs at the hospital.

The public is invited to an open house event at the new center on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. A ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. and feature remarks from Grace Wakulchik, Akron Children’s president and CEO, and other hospital officials. Attendees can take a self-guided tour of the center and learn more about services there as well as enjoy family entertainment and light refreshments.

Charitable support is integral to the expansion of these services. Akron Children’s has received support from throughout the community including gifts from the James and Coralie Centofanti Charitable Foundation, Peg’s Foundation, Hine Memorial Fund and Kikel Charitable Foundation.

For appointments or to find out more about the services provided, call 330-543-5015.