GRAND RAPIDS, MI – In an effort to increase access to services for children and young teens suffering mental health issues, two Grand Rapids-area health entities have partnered up to better meet those needs.
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital revealed details of their plan Thursday, July 21, to build a $62 million Pediatric Behavioral Health Center of Excellence.
The center will include a psychiatric hospital for children and several other mental-health services, including an eating disorder facility, specialty clinics for depression and autistic spectrum disorders, and more.
The facility will be located in Cutlerville, a suburb of Grand Rapids.
“For too long, we have lived with not enough mental health care for kids in Michigan,” Mark Eastburg, president and CEO of Pine Rest, told a group of colleagues and health experts Thursday morning inside a conference room at the Pine Rest campus. “That begins to change right now.”
For the last four years, leaders at Pine Rest and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital have been working together to identify gaps in mental health care in the community and better coordinate the care already being provided.
The center will be built at the Pine Rest campus in Cutlerville with an expected opening date set for sometime in 2024. The project was awarded $38 million through the bipartisan 2023 state budget. Pine Rest will launch a campaign to raise the remaining $24 million needed.
The center will dramatically expand and add new behavioral health services to kids across Michigan, Eastburg said.
Eastburg highlighted the services that will be available at the center, along with potential scenarios of how those services would be utilized.
Those services are:
– A psychiatric inpatient bed expansion from 36 to 88 for treatment of high acuity patients, developmentally disabled patients and pediatric co-occurring disorders.
– The creation of a pediatric psychiatric urgent care center.
“If a 17-year-old tells her mom on a Tuesday morning that she’s experiencing so much anxiety that she can’t make it to school (then) by noon, she will be receiving treatment,” Eastburg said of the center’s use. “Not waiting four months for care.”
Other services include:
– An eating disorder treatment facility.
– A new intensive psychiatric residential treatment facility for autistic spectrum disorder and developmentally disabled children.
– An expansion of the Pine Rest/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Child and Adolescent Fellowship training program.
– An expansion on outpatient services, including:
- Telepsychiatry for providers, families and patients in rural areas; new specialty clinics for anxiety/obsessive compulsive disorders, depression, autistic spectrum disorders and eating disorders; and substance use disorder programming.
- Largest evidence-based psychological assessment center in Michigan for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and neuropsychological testing.
Officials with the two health systems said the new facility is designed to ensure the needs of children and adolescents in West Michigan and statewide are met.
“We already serve people from all over the state,” said Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Beaumont Health Spectrum Health System. “This expands our opportunity to continue to do that because we want to make sure that kids get the resources and treatment they need.”
The project is underway as national behavioral health needs are at epidemic levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019 State of Michigan Behavioral Access Report found that 38% of Michigan residents who experienced a mental illness were not receiving care.
In 2017, one in 10 Kent County residents reported their mental or emotional health was poor or failing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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