In response to an ongoing statewide shortage of emergency psychiatric treatment beds for children and adolescents, Hartford Hospital's Institute of Living is opening a new six-bed crisis unit for children later this year.
The unit is expected to open Oct. 1. Its primary purpose will be to triage children and teens in a psychiatric crisis and to stabilize them within 72 hours so they can be transferred to another hospital or treatment setting.
The unit will be supported by the state Department of Children and Families and the Department of Social Services, which have set aside about $1.4 million in state money to pay for client treatments. The unit is expected to cost about $2 million a year to run. Hospital officials said the balance will likely come from private insurance providers.
State officials decided to allocate money for the unit in response to the continuing shortage of adolescent treatment beds statewide. The shortage is forcing teens in the throes of a serious mental health crisis to languish for hours and sometimes days in local emergency rooms, where they receive only basic treatment and care.
Hartford Hospital's new unit, dubbed CARES for "Child and Adolescent Rapid Emergency Stabilization," will be for children ages 5-17.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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