DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The area’s largest children’s hospital is putting a premium on the mental health of our kids.
Dayton Children’s Hospital is using 25 million dollars in state funding to create a facility specifically designed to improve children’s mental health. Governor Mike Dewine was there Monday morning to help break ground on that facility.
A total of 110 million dollars went into the expansion of mental health resources for Dayton Children’s. Officials say it’s a true need, after seeing a record numbers of kids with mental health issues.
Last year, Dayton Children’s mental health crisis center reported over 7,000 visits from children with mental health issues, many of which involved suicide attempts.
That number is up 31 percent this year so far, according to local mental health professionals.
As the number of children needing mental health support increases, the demand for resources is higher than ever, fueling the need for state and local funding to grow the mental health facilities at Dayton Children’s and lower the wait most children have to endure.
“Children’s Hospital serves over 20 separate counties,” Governor DeWine said. “What we want is for kids who have a mental health problem, a family that has a problem, not have to wait. Sometimes they’re told they have to wait a month, two months. That is simply just not satisfactory.”
The building was first announced in May 2022 when Governor DeWine and state legislators announced a $25 million allocation through American Rescue Plan funds towards the 110-million-dollar project for Dayton Children’s. The other funding was raised through philanthropic community efforts.
With the funding for this new facility, the number of beds designated for children will be doubled.
“We’ve been working for eleven years now, adding services, plugging holes. And still, there are gaps,” said Debbie Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s. “The services that we will be able to provide in this building, along with additional community-based therapy services will go a long way to help bridge those gaps.”
There will also be expansions of community-based therapy. There is already a facility in Beavercreek, with plans to expand in Huber Heights and Troy.
The facility from Monday’s groundbreaking is expected to be complete in 2025.