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Monarch Celebrates SECU Youth Crisis Center Open House with Partners and Community Members

Monarch celebrated the new SECU Youth Crisis Center and welcomed more than 180 people for the center’s open house on Jan 31, 2018. Representatives from N.C. DHHS, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, a large SECU delegation, state elected officials, parents, Red Rock Developments, Andujar Construction, the media and other community partners gathered to celebrate the grand opening. The SECU Youth Crisis Center, located at 1810 Back Creek Dr. in Charlotte is the first of its kind in the state.

“We’re really looking forward to serving kids here as opposed to in the emergency room in order to get them the level of care they need, when they need it and make things a little easier on their families,” said Daniel Brown, executive vice president/chief operating officer for behavioral health at Monarch.

Children and teens experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis and need 24/7 triage, assessment and stabilization in a secure, nurturing in-patient setting can now receive that quality care closer to home in the newly-constructed, 16-bed center. Youth in need of inpatient psychiatric assessment and treatment have been sent to Wake, Onslow, or New Hanover counties in the past because no such facility existed near Charlotte.

“I was involved in the very first conversation in Pinehurst about the dream of what we could possibly do with this and to see it come to fruition today is a thrill,” said Brown.

At the time of the open house, the center had already seen and started treating 15 children. In the coming weeks and months that number will grow and the positive outcomes will be felt by children and families across Mecklenburg County.

“So far we’ve been seeing kids who were in emergency departments day in and day out. Now we’re getting several referrals from Carolinas Healthcare System and we’ve been able to keep those children for several days and get them back into the care they needed,” said Teresa Gaskin, vice president of operations for crisis services.

Today, there are more than 26,000 children and adolescents in Mecklenburg County living with a mental illness, which can negatively impact family relationships, academic success, and overall self-esteem. Unfortunately, for some of them, that mental illness may reach a crisis point, where they are simply no longer able to navigate everyday life.

The member-funded State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation provided a very generous one-time grant of $750,000 along with capital support from the general assembly, several community partners and others who joined Monarch to help address the mental health needs of youth in the Charlotte area.

“This couldn’t be a better project for us to donate our money toward and work with Monarch to take care of our children. It’s important that we catch mental health issues as soon as possible. I know this through my own family experiences. Children are our future so we need to make sure they are well,” said Chip Lord, a member of the SECU advisory committee.

“Today was an outstanding example of collaboration and mission-driven service for a noble cause. The degree of partnership just shows what a community can do when we work together. We at Monarch are pleased to now offer such an important service to our youth,” said Jim Kelley, executive vice president and chief operating officer of long-term services and supports at Monarch.

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

Please call (844) 263-0050 or click here for admission criteria and more information.

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