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First youth-focused mental health crisis center opens

Jan 27, 2018

Many of the 26,000 children and adolescents in the Mecklenburg County region living with a mental illness need inpatient psychiatric assessment and treatment. Now, there is a place to provide age appropriate care to these young patients.

The doors are officially open to the SECU Youth Crisis Center, a Monarch program, at 1810 Back Creek Dr., Charlotte. The center is the first of its kind for young people ages 6-17 in North Carolina. This project is a result of a partnership between Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, state and federal officials and several community partners and organizations, including Stanly County individuals who served on a steering committee to start the center, a Monarch representative said.

The member-funded State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation provided a one-time grant. Along with capital support from the general assembly, several community partners and others joined Monarch to help address the mental health needs of youth and adolescents in the Charlotte area. Until now, children in this region facing a mental health crisis have been sent as far as 250 miles from the Charlotte area for similar services, and distances like these too often impede crucial family support and involvement in treatment, Monarch officials said.

“We are extremely grateful to the State Employees’ Credit Union for its support of this project, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare and state and federal officials and other community partners for their generous support,” said Monarch President and CEO Peggy Terhune. “The need for a center of this kind in Mecklenburg is critical. We worked with our partners to address this need because we’ve seen far too many families struggle once their child’s mental illness reaches a crisis point and they are simply no longer able to navigate everyday life.”

The newly-constructed SECU Youth Crisis Center is the first step in care and treatment for children and teens who face a mental health crisis in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. The 16-bed center provides access to mental health care both during a time of crisis and beyond, while also reducing the number of emergency room visits, which can prove costly and often ineffective for young people in need of help.

“SECU members are proud to partner with Monarch for the construction of this crisis center for children and adolescents in Mecklenburg County,” said Michael Clements, SECU Foundation board member.

“Monarch’s 60-year history and excellent reputation of helping others has made a tremendous impact in the lives of many individuals and families,” Clements added. “The SECU Youth Crisis Center will further strengthen Monarch’s capacity to treat and support the healthy recovery of young people experiencing mental health crisis symptoms.”

Monarch officials anticipate the SECU Youth Crisis Center will have an annual capacity to serve 600 young people struggling with a mental health crisis.

“This innovative crisis center will serve as a diversion point for children and adolescents away from emergency departments and inpatient hospitalization and is a critical addition to the system of care,” Terhune said. “This facility and the collaboration of so many amazing partners is an example of the way a community can work together to provide the necessary care for individuals with very complex needs.”

Monarch also partnered with Red Rock Developments, along with project partners Andujar Construction, general contractor; Tripp Commercial, LLC; and Perkins & Will, architect, to construct the 11,654-squarefoot center located near Charlotte’s University City.

The SECU Youth Crisis Center, a Monarch program, is officially accepting admissions and referrals. For more information, call (844) 263-0050 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.

About Monarch

Established in 1958, Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders. The organization is nationally accredited by The Joint Commission and The Council on Quality and Leadership. Monarch operates The Arc of Stanly County, which is a chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch provides support, call (866) 272-7826 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.

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