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Cincinnati Children's Hospital opens a new building for youth mental health

Visitors take a tour of Cincinnati Children's William K. Schubert, M.D. Mental Health Center
Zack Carreon
Visitors take a tour of Cincinnati Children's William K. Schubert, M.D. Mental Health Center.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital unveiled the new William K. Schubert, M.D. Mental Health Center in College Hill Friday, replacing the hospital's older building which sits on the same property.

The new facility is a larger one featuring 83 private rooms for patients, a family resource center, an education center, and therapeutic treatment space.

Cincinnati Children's Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Michael Sorter says the center is built to meet the needs of today's youth, who are demanding better access to mental health services.

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"On the shoulders of COVID and ongoing stressors such as substance abuse and the opioid epidemic, the need for help has grown dramatically," Sorter said. "Emergency departments — including our own — are seeing unprecedented numbers of children presenting in mental health crisis. Treatment facilities and programs are overwhelmed, and access to care is so spotty that over half of our children across the nation do not get the care they need."

The hospital first broke ground on the project in 2021 and the cost to complete it totaled $108 million. The building's funding came from the hospital's own revenue, a $36 million gift from the Convalescent Hospital Fund for Children, and Ohio's Pediatric Behavioral Health Initiative, which invests in projects that increase access to behavioral and mental health care for children.

Gov. Mike DeWine spoke at the unveiling, saying the opening of this facility is a sign of what's to come.

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"Our commitment is that we will continue to invest in our children's hospitals because they do such an absolutely phenomenal job," DeWine said.

The new mental health center is set to start accepting patients in October. The older building will be demolished.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.