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Helen DeVos Children's Hospital to open new psychiatric unit

Rendering of the new quiet activity room.
Corewell Health
Rendering of the new quiet activity room.

Grand Rapids’ Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital will be opening a new 12-bed medical psychiatric unit this spring incorporating a new treatment strategy

“This is actually extremely exciting because it’s the first of its kind unit where we are bridging both the physical and mental health treatment for kids.”

Natalia Szczygiel is the Vice President of Behavioral Health Operations at Corewell Health. She says 50 to 80% of the patients they treat at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital experience worsening physical symptoms due to deficient mental health.

“When we treat their physical ailments but not effectively treat their mental health conditions, that just prolongs their inability to have a fruitful, successful life.”

Szczygiel says that for many years Corewell Health has seen a greater need for patient care when it comes to mental health. The importance of healing the entire person, body and mind, was what lead to the creation of this new unit.

Not only do they hope to address the mental needs of their young patients, but the needs of their parents as well.

“We are developing appropriate programming to include our families so that once kids are discharged from the unit, they are successful at home. We want them engaging in social activities, going back to school, extracurricular activities, and we want them to have fruitful relationships with their families.”

The new unit is expected to open this May.

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