Fortuna-Based Pediatrician Receives $5.1 Million for Youth Mental Health Crisis Residential Facility

click to enlarge With the help of the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Children’s Behavioral Health Division, Fortuna-based pediatrician Evan Buxbaum received a grant of $ 5.1 million from the Investment in Mental Health Wellness Grant Program for Children to provide the first crisis stabilization and residential treatment center for young people.

“Our children had been through mental health crises before COVID,
but the events of the past year have caused problems around the adolescent
mental health deteriorates significantly, “Buxbaum said, adding that there are no residential inpatient care centers locally, meaning that young people with a mental health crisis are placed on psychiatric hold in a local emergency room.
wait for a residential treatment center or psychiatric hospital bed to open
from the province.

The crisis stabilization and residential treatment center will be owned and operated by a local non-profit medical group founded by Buxbaum and staffed by a pediatrician, nurse practitioners, pediatric adolescent-trained counselors, social workers and case managers, as well as full support staff.
Buxbaum’s organization is in the process of purchasing a local facility that would provide rooms for nine residential beds, three stabilization beds and include a child crisis residential program to meet the needs of individuals aged 7 to 21 with moderate to severe mental health crises .

The release states that instead of relying on excessive medication, the facility will pursue trauma-focused, evidence-based residential care programs and practices such as counseling, somatic experience, mindfulness, healthy coping mechanisms, and the integration of family and community into the healing journey.
“We feel extremely fortunate to be able to bring this service to Humboldt
County and look forward to working with our young people in need, their
families, the service providers who are already doing a great job in our community
and County Behavioral Health to create something extraordinary, ”
Buxbaum said.

DHHS behavioral health officials all agree that the new facility will be of great benefit to the community and especially local youth in crisis.

“This facility offers a treatment option in between outpatient services
and inpatient hospitalization, ”said Jeremy Nilsen, deputy director of DHHS’s Children’s Behavioral Health Division. “It involves offering intensive services
young people and their families locally and can be an alternative to outside the province
hospitalization. “

Read the full press release below.

May 7, 2021

Millions of dollars in grants to help local youth in crisis

Thanks in part to a $ 5.1 million grant from the Investment in Mental Health Wellness Grant Program for Children, Humboldt County will soon have a housing facility for children and young people experiencing a mental crisis.

Fortuna-based pediatrician Dr. Evan Buxbaum said he regularly sees children in his practice who suffer from depression and anxiety. “Our children had experienced mental health crises even before COVID, but the events of the past year have made the mental health problems of adolescents significantly worse.” Dr. Buxbaum added that when children in Humboldt County become suicidal or experience a mental health crisis, there is often no place to send them for care locally, so they are placed in a local emergency room in a psychiatric hold. treatment center or psychiatric hospital bed to open outside the province. This year, that wait has been extended to days or sometimes weeks due to a severe shortage of residential youth beds in the state.

Recognizing there had to be a better way, Dr. Buxbaum began looking for ways to bring a crisis relief center to the county and approached the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Behavioral Health Care Unit for Children to apply for money for a crisis stabilization and residential treatment center in Humboldt.

Jeremy Nilsen, deputy director of DHHS’s Children’s Behavioral Health Division, said a facility like this will greatly benefit the county’s youth. “This facility will provide a treatment option between outpatient services and hospitalization,” he said. “It provides local intensive services to young people and their families and can be an alternative to hospitalization outside the province.”

DHHS Director Connie Beck said receiving these funds is a game changer. “This grant will provide a local facility with youth services that will help reduce the number unfortunately sent out of the area for treatment and enable them to stay connected to their communities.”

The facility will be owned and run by a local non-profit medical group founded by Dr. Buxbaum and staffed by a pediatrician, nurse practitioners, pediatric and adolescent trained counselors, social workers and case managers, as well as a full support staff. Psychiatric surveillance will be through telepsychiatry and the facility will provide participants with a full range of Behavioral Health support. The organization becomes a service provider with which DHHS has concluded a contract.

“The youth served in the facility will receive intensive assistance to stabilize them in times of crisis,” said Nilsen. “The facility will provide a variety of services, such as therapy and medication support, and staff will work with families to quickly establish long-term services and support needed to maintain stability.”

Dr. Buxbaum said the facility will be modeled on other “trauma-informed, evidence-based” residential care programs for youth in a mental health crisis. “These facilities focus on counseling, somatic experience, mindfulness, healthy coping mechanisms and the integration of family and community into the healing journey and are less dependent on over-medication.”

Currently, Dr. Buxbaum that his organization is working on
would include the purchase of a facility that would provide rooms for nine residential beds, three stabilization beds and a child crisis residential program to meet the needs of individuals aged 7 to 21 with moderate to severe mental health crises.

“We are extremely fortunate to bring this service to Humboldt County and look forward to working with our young people in need, their families, the service providers who are already doing a great job in our community and County Behavioral Health to bring something out of the ordinary. to create, ”said Dr. Buxbaum.

Emi Botzler-Rodgers, Director of Behavioral Health at DHHS, agrees: “A residential treatment program for children is an incredible opportunity for our community to support our youth. It will enable us to keep them local and connected with family and community support. It’s also great to work with Dr. Buxbaum. It allows us to bring expertise and resources together in a way that maximizes the potential for a truly great and successful program. “

Nilsen said he looks forward to the positive impact this will have on the community: “Simply put, this is a great opportunity for our county and the youth of our county.”

Comments are closed.