Mental health clinic for kids opens in the Phoenix area, offers 24/7 care
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- If your child breaks a bone, you take them to the ER, but what do you do if they’re feeling anxious or depressed? A new mental health clinic in Phoenix hopes to serve as a resource to families now that most Arizona kids are back in school.
MIND 24-7 started in September of 2021 and has grown to three locations in the Valley with plans to open more. While telehealth services expanded in the pandemic, Spight says it’s really important to have a physical place for kids to go in a time of crisis. He describes it as urgent care for mental health.
“MIND 24-7 was started so that we could fill a gap in the system, which was really a great front door for the community to get into behavioral health,” Jeff Spight, Chief Executive Officer with MIND 24-7, said. “People don’t schedule their mental health crisis so if it’s Friday night at 10 o’clock, we’re here. If it’s Monday after you get home from school and you had a really hard day, we’re here.”
Spight says MIND 24-7 has a team of physicians, licensed therapists, social workers, psych-trained nurses and behavioral technicians, all in one place.
“For some kids who have really extensive needs, we’re going to keep them here for a night and we’ll observe them and we’ll take care of them and then we’re going to come up with an amazing treatment plan for them going forward. For other kids, it may just be that we spend a little time talking to them. We’ll end up talking to the parents, the guardians, and we work through what we think needs to happen and it’s quite possible you could be on your way back home less than an hour and a half after you came through the door,” Spight added.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), more than 1,030,000 adults in Arizona have a mental health condition, that’s more than four times the population of Scottsdale. Data from NAMI also shows 87,000 Arizona kids ages 12-17 have depression.
“We’ve definitely seen a spike in anxiety and depression, and we’re seeing more children come through our facilities,” Dr. John Lee, National Medical Director with MIND 24-7, said.
Dr. Lee says parents should watch out for the following signs:
- Reluctance to separate from parents
- Loss of focus
- Trouble sleeping
- Change in appetite
If your child is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to have a conversation with them or find professional help.
“We have to ask questions about how their day was, and if they’re isolated, they’re not talking to their friends, we can notice all these things. Open communication and also teaching them it’s okay to say something’s wrong,” Dr. Lee said.
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