NEW ORLEANS — Children's Hospital is on a mission. It's new 'High 5 Project' aims to erase the stigma of health conditions that involve the brain.
"Today, one-in-five children are affected by mental and behavioral health disorders, but less than half receive the help they need," children in a hospital video explain.
"That's a staggering number, and I think that it's something that we, in the state of Louisiana, have somewhat neglected," said Dr. George Bisset, the Chief Medical Officer of Children's hospital who is a Pediatric Cardiologist and Radiologist.
That is why Children's Hospital is about to open one of the country's largest youth mental health treatment facilities, uptown. There are 51 inpatient beds for children and teens, seven to 17-years-old and outpatient treatment and therapies beginning for those who are younger.
There is state-of-the-art music, art, yoga and meditation therapy.
Walton Goldring didn't get treatment for her adolescent mental health needs until she was in her 30s. That was after she did what many youth do, self medicate with drugs and alcohol.
"Behavioral health is just so important you know. I know that there's a lot of kids and families out there struggling with issues, and need a safe place that they can go to," she said.
There was nothing like the new center as she was growing up.
"And just not knowing who to talk to, and my parents didn't know who to have me talk to," she said.
She is part of the family foundations that donated to make the new center available to all.
"There's no question that the earlier that we get children in the course of their mental illness, the better the prognosis," Dr. Bisset explained.
"This is something that's important and something that we can begin talking about as a community. This is not just something Children's Hospital can solve. This is a community thing," Children's Hospital Vice-President of Operations said about the awareness campaign to erase the stigma of mental illness.
Think of it as preventive medicine, getting you help right when you need it.
The new center is scheduled to open sometime in March. It will treat many conditions like depression, autism and psychosis.
For more on the outpatient programs to come, call 504-896-7272
For more on the High 5 campaign, click here.