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University of Missouri Health Care News Releases
$1.9 Million Renovation at Missouri Psychiatric Center Provides Updated, Expanded Youth Inpatient Unit

 COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri Health Care celebrated the opening of a $1.9 million newly renovated youth unit at the Missouri Psychiatric Center on May 8. The nearly 7,800- square-foot inpatient unit provides state-of-the-art expanded facilities for behavioral health treatment of patients 5 to 18 years old.

"During recent years, we have seen a significant and growing need for psychiatric services in our mid-Missouri region, across our state and throughout our country," said Laine Young-Walker, M.D., director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "Serious mental health conditions affect approximately 10 percent of American children. Because this is the only inpatient psychiatric facility for children within a 90-mile radius of Columbia, every bed in this new unit is vitally important. With a total of 17 beds, including three additional beds, we will be able to help many children in central Missouri."

The Missouri Youth Psychiatric Services unit is separated into two sections: an adolescent section with 11 beds and a pre-adolescent section with six beds. The unit also has two new quiet rooms near the nurses' station, where patients can have time alone while being monitored by staff; an attached visitation room for parents to see their children, apart from the rest of the unit; and design features to provide a comfortable environment, reducing noise and letting in natural light.

"At a time when mental health services are being cut nationwide, we're proud to be expanding care in central Missouri," said John Lauriello, M.D., medical director of the Missouri Psychiatric Center and Chancellor's Chair of Excellence in Psychiatry at the MU School of Medicine. "This renovated unit will offer an improved healing atmosphere for our patients, as well as creating additional capacity to care for more Missouri youth."

The Missouri Youth Psychiatric Services team includes two child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, clinical psychologists, special education teachers, occupational and recreation therapists, and social workers. They employ treatments such as dialectical behavior therapy, a form of evidence-based psychological therapy designed to help patients manage their emotions and react positively to their environment.

"With the help of their parents and the Missouri Psychiatric Center's child and adolescent clinic, the majority of our patients are able to manage their symptoms through outpatient treatment in regular clinic visits," Young-Walker said. "For patients who need immediate, intensive treatment, however, this inpatient unit provides comprehensive evaluation and therapy before transitioning them to outpatient treatment."

The new third-floor unit is the final phase of renovations to the 62-bed Missouri Psychiatric Center, which began in 2009. Renovations to the youth services unit began in September 2012.

Since MU Health Care opened the center in 2009 to preserve and expand regional mental health services after the state closed Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center, approximately 50,000 square feet of the 99,550-square-foot facility have been renovated at a cost of approximately $13.8 million. Of the $13.8 million, $13 million was provided by the state of Missouri. Renovated areas include:

  • Two adult units, totaling 45 beds
  • A youth services unit, with 17 beds
  • An emergency assessment unit
  • A rehabilitation and occupational therapy area
  • A visitors' lounge

 

The Missouri Psychiatric Center also offers an outpatient clinic for child and adolescent patients. Outpatient adult psychiatric services are available at University Physicians-Green Meadows. 

The $1.9 million renovated Missouri Psychiatric Youth Services inpatient unit was designed to be kid-friendly, with colorful decorations, skylights and large windows that let in natural light, as well as three additional beds to provide expanded services.

Laine Young-Walker, MD, vice chair of the MU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and director of its Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry, said that as the only inpatient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents within 90 miles, the expanded 17-bed youth services unit will provide needed mental health services for families in central Missouri.

   




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