Mental Health

Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center Works to Raise Awareness of Pediatric Services

May 20, 2024
Depiction of adolescent standing in courtyard

Five months after opening a new freestanding Psychiatric Emergency Department, leaders at Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center (RMHRC) want to remind people that the program serves pediatric patients as well as adults.

The Psych ED, which opened Nov. 1, is open to anyone 5 and older. The facility has a designated area for all pediatric patients to keep them separated from the adult patient population, although parents and other legal guardians remain with them throughout their ED stay.

To help young patients remain as calm as possible, the Psych ED offers a sensory room with a high-definition television that displays soothing nature scenes, as well as a diffuser and rocking chairs. The facility also has a fully enclosed outdoor area with a rubbery surface common to playgrounds, along with seating for adult guardians.

“It’s fairly uncommon in a psychiatric facility to have the option to go outside if you need a little fresh air and sunshine,” notes Stacey Johnson, RMHRC President. “Both of those things are often good for children, especially in a stressful situation.” 

The most common pediatric conditions seen in the ED patients are depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorder. Therapists and providers are on hand 24/7 to meet each patient’s needs.

RMHRC also continues to run its inpatient adolescent treatment unit for patients ages 12 to 18, where resources include a licensed school teacher, recreational art therapy, another sensory room and a range of providers specially trained to work with teenagers.

Johnson encourages Riverside team members to turn to RMHRC for any needed medical mental health treatment — and to spread the word in the community that its emergency services are available for a wide age range of patients. 

“Families don’t have to feel alone if their child or teenager is struggling,” she says. “We’re here to help.”

Learn more about services at Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center by visiting riversideonline.com/rmhrc.