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Contra Costa health officials open psychiatric emergency unit for youth

PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/24/24
PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/24/24 11:36

Children and teens in Contra Costa County will have a dedicated psychiatric emergency unit starting Monday, according to Contra Costa Health Services.

The new unit will serve children ages 6 to 17 for the first 24 hours of a diagnosed psychiatric emergency. The unit is located at 25 Allen Street within the same building of Miller Wellness Center and near Martinez Health Center.

The staff of Pacific Clinics has been contracted by Contra Costa Health Services to operate the new unit. Staff may help patients with crisis intervention, mental health assessment, medication assistance, and therapy. They will also offer alcohol and drug screening services, case management, and peer support.

"The goal is to stabilize the unit's patients and connect them with mental health services without requiring inpatient hospitalization," Contra Costa Health Services said.

Before the new youth unit, children experiencing psychiatric emergencies in the county were treated alongside adults at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center.

Contra Costa Health Services added that there were 1,072 admissions in 2023 for pediatric psychiatric patients at the regional medical center. Most of the youth patients were adolescents and teens with depression and were at risk of dying by suicide. 

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