Best Point: Urgent Mental Health Care for Kids at Critical Crossroads

Best Point: Urgent Mental Health Care for Kids at Critical Crossroads

If your child has an accident while playing and fractures their arm, what do you do? You immediately take that child to a doctor for treatment to prevent further injury. 

But what if your child is hurting because of a mental or behavioral health issue that, if left unaddressed, could cause an immediate safety concern? What steps do you take then?

Thanks to Best Point Education and Behavioral Health, you can now take your child to a first-of-its-kind pediatric mental health urgent care clinic. The new program, launched late last summer, had assisted about 100 clients as of January, with some families traveling from as far away as Dayton to access the program’s services. The program is helping close what has been a widening gap in community mental health care for young populations in Cincinnati and the surrounding area. Services are designed to help young people up through age 21 who need immediate social or emotional — but not necessarily hospital — care.

“Untreated mental and behavioral health challenges can worsen a problem just like a broken bone or other medical illness without help,” says Debbie Gingrich, clinical director at Best Point. “These needs are real and can become volatile if the situation is urgent and not treated.”

Gingrich notes that while every child is different, some common signs or situations indicating an urgent need for attention include:

• A child is terribly upset and unable to calm down

• Excessive crying

• Family distress

• Temper outburst

• Suicidal thoughts

• Loss/grief

• Intense relationship changes

“The data illustrates that mental and behavioral health needs among youth populations are continually rising,” says John Banchy, president and CEO of Best Point. “About 60% of our nation’s youth who need mental health treatment receive no help. Many of those who do get treated are treated inadequately. 

“Our community partners and supporters deserve a ton of credit for making this new pediatric mental health urgent care program possible,” he adds. “This is demonstrative of how Cincinnati comes together to support neighbors who need our help the most.”

Is Best Point’s Pediatric Mental Health Urgent Care the best option for your child? The clinic, located at 5051 Duck Creek Road, Cincinnati, is open Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Give them a call at 513-527-3040.

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