Health Professional News

Children’s Minnesota opens its first inpatient mental health unit Nov. 29 

Patients or families experiencing a mental health emergency or at imminent risk for harm should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department for a mental health evaluation. We are currently not accepting new patients in the inpatient mental health unit.

Children’s Minnesota is pleased to announce the opening of its first inpatient mental health unit, located at its St. Paul hospital, starting Nov. 29, 2022. The unit is opening using a phased approach, beginning with adolescent patients and expanding to younger patients thereafter. It is expected to care for more than 1,000 children and adolescents annually, serving the urgent mental health needs of the most vulnerable kids in Minnesota and the region.

Once fully operational, the inpatient unit will be the first in the east metro to serve kids as young as 6 years old, and one of few in the state to admit kids with more complex medical conditions. It is also one of few such facilities in the state and country to allow a parent or guardian to stay overnight with their child. 

“As children face an unprecedented mental health crisis that we see firsthand every day in our hospitals, now more than ever, it is imperative that we invest in mental health care as deliberately as we invest in other medical treatments,” said Dr. Marc Gorelick, president and CEO of Children’s Minnesota. “Children today desperately need access to the full spectrum of mental health care, no matter where they are on their journey. We are proud to join other leaders in the region to deliver that care that is highly specialized, deeply compassionate and made just for kids.” 

The new inpatient mental health unit will provide a healing environment, specifically designed for kids and youth and will include: 

  • Twenty-two large private rooms that will allow a parent or guardian to stay overnight with their child. 
  • Design focused on natural light, calming sensory-friendly spaces, and soon to include safe access to the outdoors. 
  • A multi-disciplinary care team, including psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, nurses, and expressive arts therapists will provide individualized treatment tailored to meet each child’s needs. 

Admission process to Children’s Minnesota inpatient mental health unit 

Patients experiencing a mental health emergency or at imminent risk for harm should be referred to the nearest emergency department for a mental health evaluation and medical clearance examination. Dependent on the unit’s capacity and bed availability, patients who need inpatient mental health care could be admitted to Children’s Minnesota’s mental health unit. 

Children’s Minnesota Physician Access is your 24/7 connection to pediatric experts from more than 100 specialties. Call 866-755-2121 for referrals, admission and more. 

Other recent mental health investments

This is just the latest addition to Children’s Minnesota’s mental health service expansions and partnerships: 

  • Children’s Minnesota has forged a partnership with PrairieCare to provide programmatic guidance and joint clinical leadership for the new inpatient mental health unit.  

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Photos of the unit

Take a look through our mental health unit:

Dina Elrashidy