Children's "bucking the trend" by investing in mental health

Oct 4, 2013

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is the recipient of a $20 million gift, its single largest contribution ever. The money comes from the Convalescent Hospital for Children, established in 1833  It no longer has a physical building, but for years has been raising funds and providing support for specialized programs housed at Cincinnati Children's.

Children's says it will use the money to help expand its College Hill Campus for treatment of mental and behavioral issues. Former patient Sam Potter, on hand for Friday's news conference, went into depression after her father committed suicide on her 10th birthday. "and trying to comprehend that, being in the 4th grade, was so hard. Two years later I started showing symptoms of depression and I did become very depressed. I didn't want to eat, I didn't want to do anything but sleep."

Hear her story:

Potter struggled with depression but the treatment she received at Children's mental health facility helped her get on with life. Now, 15 she helps run a foundation called Rob's Kids, to raise money for patients, ages 2-21.

The Convalescent Hospital money will expand facilities at the College Hill Campus including a new three-story building, which will allow each patient can have a private room. Children's will also provide long-term care at its Liberty Township Campus.

Medical Director of Ohio's Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Mark Hurst, says money spent like this is refreshing.

"You're really bucking the trend,'' Hurst said. "Increasingly, hospitals are saying we're not making any money of psychiatry. We need to cut psychiatry. But a forward-looking institution sees psychiatry is health care."

The College Hill Campus is the only residential treatment facility operating in a pediatric hospital in all of Ohio.