Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of our partners, Dayton Children’s Hospital. What a gem we have just an hour away from my home in Columbus Ohio and the people in that community are so fortunate to have this institution so dedicated to helping treat their children.
My visit was definitely worth sharing!
Sam’s Fans is proud to announce that we are funding a second grant to Dayton Children’s Hospital. You might remember that two years ago we helped them pilot a new music therapy program. That program is now part of the hospitals budget. Lindsay is doing amazing things for her patients and their families! In the year July 2018 to June 2019 she had over 1300 patient encounters over eight different units in the hospital!!! Thank you Lindsay!
Starting in July, Dayton Children’s will open a unit dedicated to Behavioral Health. The hospital has seen the impact that music therapy has had on patients and families. Now they are dedicated to providing these services to the Behavioral Health population. Sam’s Fans is proud to say we also recognize and will help them support that need by funding a grant to providing music therapy to this population.
The unit will initially open with 12 beds. As the needs and funds increase they will have 24 beds available to children from 11-17. Think about that for just a moment. Children 11-17. One of the most staggering statistics I heard last week was that in 2017 the percentage of high school kids who seriously considered suicide is 17%. What is even more devastating is that for kids who identify as LGBTQ that number of goes to 45%. I don’t think it is going to take very long for them to get to a need for 24 beds.
Behavioral Health Unit
The unit is equipped with amazing features to help these kids and I was floored by the steps taken to insure the safety and security of the patients and staff. There are no sharp edges ANYWHERE. There are no handles on doors that you could tie or hang anything from. The bathroom doors are capable of coming off the door frame easily but yet provide the privacy needed.
Each room has a smart tablet built into the wall that offers games and music to help calm patients. The furniture is comfortable and simple but yet so heavy that it can hardly be moved or lifted as not be be able to throw it or pick it up. Some of these things were hard to see. Having the chance to really witness it helped me understand why it is so important for them to be there to provide this type of care
Fighting the Stigma
We have all seen and heard that Behavioral Health is a serious issue for children and it is a tough issue to tackle. Part of the problem is the stigma attached to it. When a child is diagnosed with a life threatening disease we offer support and we raise money for them. When a child is diagnosed with depression and anxiety we tend to look the other way and we are afraid to acknowledge what is happening.
It is not always easy to see that those kids are also very sick, it does not look the same. In fact, sometimes it looks like nothing at all because of the steps children and adults take to hide it. We hope that by being supportive of this kind of work and being a part of the care provided Sam’s Fans can help to take the steps to erase the stigma associated with children and families suffering from behavioral health issues.
If you would like to help us and keep these kinds of services available make a donation here. And if you already have, we thank you!