Article, Donor

Donors Help to Expand Mental Health Services: Because Kids Can’t Wait

October 21, 2020

Thanks to donors, Children’s Hospital Colorado is expanding programs and services to provide more kids and teens with the highest-quality mental health care. We recently broke ground on an extensive renovation project, which will expand capacity and enhance healing spaces at our Pediatric Mental Health Institute. Read how your support makes a difference.

Chloe, Pediatric Mental Health Institute Patient Ambassador

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, suicide was the leading cause of death for Colorado youth ages 10 to 24, and the number of children and teens coming to the Children’s Hospital Colorado Emergency Department for mental health issues was growing exponentially.

To meet the community’s growing need, leaders of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Colorado devised an ambitious plan to substantially renovate the Gary Pavilion on the Anschutz Medical Campus to make their vision for increased access and more family-center mental health services a reality.

Over the past three years, generous donors stepped forward in a significant way by donating more than $20 million toward the anticipated $22 million renovation project. Because of philanthropic support, on June 30, 2020, Children’s Colorado broke ground on this extensive remodeling and construction project. When finished, the new-and-improved Gary Pavilion will have expanded capacity and enhanced state-of-the-art healing and therapeutic spaces for our patients and families.

“The community has rallied behind our efforts in incredible ways,” says Doug Novins, MD, Chair of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute and the Cannon Y. and Lyndia K. Harvey Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “With this amazing level of support and attention, Children’s Colorado can make this resounding commitment that will have a real and lasting impact for our youth.”

Newly designed in-patient rooms will allow families to spend more time together — including adding a place where a parent can sleep in the same room as their child while their son or daughter is hospitalized. A new Family Respite Center will offer many amenities, including lockers, easy access to healthy food and places for relaxation and rejuvenation.

“We are creating an environment that replicates a kid’s world, because we know that when they return to their home life, kids will adapt more quickly if the hospital mimics their everyday routines, like socializing with other kids and working with their family,” says Jason Williams, PsyD, Operations Director for the Pediatric Mental Health Institute. “That is really the core of our design — and it wouldn’t be possible without philanthropy.”