In Commack, a new pediatric behavioral health urgent care


Commack is home to a new a new pediatric behavioral health urgent care. The 2,000-square-foot center is Northwell Health’s first of its kind in Suffolk County, and the third opened by the health system since 2020. It was built on a community-embedded model in collaboration with participating school districts.

The Cohen Children’s Northwell Health Behavioral Health Center addresses the needs of children and teens, and provides immediate access to care for young people in crisis, according to the health system. The center is part of a major initiative by Northwell, which invested $350,000 in the facility’s buildout, to “address the increase in mental and emotional distress experienced by” children and adolescents, according to the health system.

The effort comes at a time when emotional distress intensified by the pandemic. One out of five young people today suffers from mental health issues, and suicide is the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and children as young as age 10, according to Northwell.

But finding access to timely help continues to be an obstacle for many families for a host of reasons.

“Around the country, families who need help for a child in a mental health crisis often have to wait months for an appointment with a specialist, a delay that can cause great suffering,” Dr. Vera Feuer, assistant vice president and director of emergency psychiatry at Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park said in a statement.

“At our behavioral health centers, we can see a child that same day to assess them, get them into immediate treatment to stabilize them and then connect them to a specialist for ongoing care,” Feuer added.

And the model aims to address the needs of all families, regardless of whether they have health insurance.

Northwell’s behavioral health urgent care centers are made possible through a collaboration with Long Island school districts. This model aims to ensure that treatment is available to all families, and students whose families do not have health insurance are not turned away.

At the new Suffolk County Center, Commack, Half Hollow Hills, Hauppauge, Sachem Central, Smithtown Central and South Huntington school districts are participating. Students in those districts or their families can contact the center directly or may be referred by a teacher, counselor or other school professional. The collaboration will also provide professional development and support to school staff, as well as community education to help promote healthy habits among children and families, according to Northwell.

This collaborative model was developed for Northwell’s first behavioral health urgent care center, which opened in Rockville Centre in early 2020. A second behavioral health urgent care center opened in Mineola in 2021. The two facilities have been working at full capacity since their launch and have provided urgent behavioral health care to more than 3,400 students so far, the health system reports.

The Commack center features three patient rooms, as well as three additional rooms that will be used by Northwell Health Physician Partners Behavioral Health, a new practice that will provide ongoing behavioral health care to children, adolescents and adults.

Along with its behavioral health urgent care centers and physician practices, the health system said that its initiative to meet the behavioral health needs of children and teens also includes emergency behavioral health services as well as a Pediatric Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center in Cohen Children’s Medical Center. The health system is also expanding outpatient services at Zucker Hillside Hospital. In addition, in a program launched in 2017 by Northwell’s psychiatric facility, South Oaks Hospital, a child psychiatrist regularly visits schools in districts across Long Island to provide drop-in mental health services for students.





Source link