Helping our Kids When They Need It the Most
1 in every 5 children or adolescents will experience a mental health problem before the age of 21, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This includes issues such as depression, attention and learning problems, eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety, or even psychotic disorders.
A child’s ability to function can also be compromised by highly stressful events like divorce, domestic violence, chronic illness, or the death of a parent.
Yet, even as the need is increasing, only 20% of kids with a mental health problem will get the treatment they require. This is due in large part to limited or non-existent insurance coverage, a deepening shortage of pediatric mental health clinicians, and in many cases, the stigma of mental illness.
Hospital is deeply committed to providing mental health services to the kids in our community through our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service, established in 2007 by Dr. MIchael Jellinek, former President of Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Chief of Child Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. These comprehensive evaluation and treatment services are offered in several settings: the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, the Vinik Pediatric Emergency Department, and the Pediatric Inpatient Service.
Last year, over 1,000 kids were treated at Newton-Wellesley for mental health issues.. We saw 500 children and teens in our Outpatient Clinic with more than 100 new referrals. Over 400 kids in emotional crisis came into our Emergency Department – each of whom required lengthy and complex evaluation and referral services. In addition, our child and adolescent psychiatrists saw patients admitted to our Inpatient Pediatrics Unit with serious psychiatric and medical issues.
The Need is Critical. . . the Time is NOW
As a result, it can take three to four months for a new patient to be evaluated by one of our child and adolescent psychiatrists. When time is of the essence and a child’s well-being and very future is at stake, this long wait is totally unacceptable.
A portion of the $3 Million recently raised through the hospital's Gala and other leadership donations will be used to immediately add a full-time child and adolescent psychiatrist. However, to fund this position in perpetuity, the remainder of the funds will go into endowment funds, which will eventually generate enough income to fully fund this position for decades to come. To complete these endowment funds (which are roughly 60% funded), additional funds from the community are still needed.
We urge you to consider a gift of any amount to support Newton-Wellesley Hospital's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service. Your support will enable our pediatric mental health care team to devote the time required to ensure the best possible outcome for each and every child or teen who seeks our help.
Click here for information on how you may make a gift today.
Thank you - your gift will have an immediate and lasting impact
on the kids and families in our community.