Kids' mental health care gets $125,000 boost at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital in Saskatoon

Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH) is hoping to repeat the success of a 2020 fundraising push that led to upgrades to its mental health room.

The mental health intensive care room at The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital received the upgrades after a $125,000 donation from Sobey's.

The money was raised in 2020, during the first year of its A Family of Support fundraiser which brought in over $3 million in donations.

The campaign, now its second year, will be accepting donations through the end of September.

“The funds raised within the past year have been directed to that mental health intensive care room within the emergency department at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital,” Tanner Braaten, Community Engagement Manager with The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital told CTV News.

Upgrades to the room included door modifications to allow crisis access, live cameras and new security processes to support and monitor patients as well as other specialized upgrades.

“There are specially designed assessment beds secured to the floor without any moving parts to reduce that risk of harm as well as new protocols for all areas and staff,” he said.

Some of the money was also used for mental health and dental care bus which travels to remote communities to ensure all Saskatchewan children get the care they need regardless of postal code, Braaten said, adding there is also a focus on early intervention when it comes to the mental health of kids.

While the idea for the campaign was initiated before the pandemic, it was very deliberately timed because of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on children and youth.

“It’s timely because through the pandemic it is no secret that children and youth bore the brunt related to mental health. They may not have been impacted by COVID directly, but they certainly were impacted by isolation and mental health challenges,” Mark Hierlihy CEO of Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations told CTV News.

So far Hierlihy says, so far donations to the campaign indicate that more money will be raised this year which is encouraging because it shows that people realize the importance of addressing mental health concerns for children.

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