In the Burroughs | Children's Minnesota | The Kid Experts

Equity action and our new mental health unit

Our youth mental health crisis knows no boundaries.

Kids from all walks of life are hurting.  

The last thing we want to do is add to their trauma.  

In our first inpatient mental health unit, now open on our St. Paul campus, we’re doing some important things to ensure we’re serving all young people; making sure they feel safe and supported.

Part of that is providing culturally humble and knowledgeable care. 

Here are some ways we’re doing that:

  • We’re developing an implicit bias simulation training specifically for inpatient mental health unit staff. The training will help staff recognize and reflect on their own biases, and learn ways to mitigate them.
  • We’re building a more diverse Family Advisory Council. Our patient families have unique insights that help us improve our care. We’re now seeking families with experience receiving mental health services so we can learn from them as well.
  • We’re hiring an inpatient mental health unit team that represents the kids and families we serve.
  • We’re providing a variety of supplies, like appropriate hair care products for kids with various hair textures and needs. We’re also providing hijabs that work in a hospital setting.
  • We’re welcoming parents to stay overnight with their child. It can be expensive and time-consuming traveling between home and the hospital, especially if a family lives far away. Having the option to stay overnight potentially benefits all patients and families, but especially those with economic and/or transportation barriers.  

It’s vital that health care workers understand the unique needs of their patients. It builds trust and relationships, which ultimately results in better care.  

The actions above will hopefully show all of our patients and families that they can trust us, allowing them to focus on what’s most important: healing.  

James Burroughs

James Burroughs
Senior vice president, government and community relations, chief equity and inclusion officer

James Burroughs is the senior vice president, government and community relations, chief equity and inclusion officer at Children's Minnesota. He is responsible for advancing equity and inclusion in all parts of the organization.
Follow James on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Julianna Olsen