Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Children's psychiatric care to expand from fund-raiser

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A fund-raising campaign called “Hometown Hope for Kids” will be launched today to support expanded psychiatric services at Children's Hospital Medical Center.

        The campaign seeks to raise about $350,000 to cover about a third of the budget for the hospital's new Psychiatric Response Center, which opened Thursday.

        The response center is the first part of a larger effort at the hospital to expand psychiatric services for children. Other programs are expected to be announced in a few months, said Mike Sherbun, the hospital's senior clinical director of psychiatry.

        In December, the Enquirer detailed a local shortage of mental health and substance abuse services for Tristate youth. As a result of that shortage, Children's Hospital has been increasingly swamped with demands for care, Mr. Sherbun said.

        For the fiscal year ended March 31, the hospital reported 3,100 psychiatric emergency department visits. That's up 72 percent from 1,800 visits the previous 12 months.

        And those figures do not count all the phone calls from children, parents, schools and community agencies dealing with children they think might need psychiatric help.

        “We're getting more than 100 new calls a day,” Mr. Sherbun said. “And for every call we get, our staff is making five calls or more to find appropriate services, either within our organization or out in the community.”

        The new response center is intended to better organize those requests for care. Computer gear, office furniture and other expenses needed as the center expands will be paid in part by the Hometown Hope for Kids event.

        Through June 10, local Kroger stores will make a donation to the hospital when people buy selected home-produced goods. Participating food makers include Husman Snack Foods, J.T.M., Montgomery Inn, Shur-Good Biscuit Co., Skyline and United Dairy Farmers.

        Cincinnati Reds first baseman Sean Casey also is participating in the campaign.


Mother charged in boy's death
Protect kids, parents told
Big Mac Bridge likely to be big mess
Ohio execution on for tonight
Prayer vigils oppose executions
Justice Dept. to begin police review
Neighbor sought in fatal shooting
PULFER: Suburbs not obligated to city
Arts center plans construction party
- Children's psychiatric care to expand from fund-raiser
County OKs school funding
Suit seeks apology in stunt-tape case
Trooper is accused in indictment
Don't shuffle kids, schools told
A look at Covington school proposals
Monmouth appeal rejected
One-of-a-kind benches find a home
Southgate school marks 100th year
College student misbehavior intensifies
Drug-free coalition plans a bigger role
Historic house's value argued
Key Foundation begins relief work
Lawsuit: Charter schools illegal, unconstitutional
Local Digest
Raft race celebrates Ohio River heritage
School Notebook