Riley Hospital adds new center to treat pediatric mental illness

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Officials from Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health unveiled a new center Monday to treat kids in central Indiana suffering from mental health issues.

"I think being able to have this kind of resource available to the community is a treasure," IU School of Medicine's Dr. Thomas McAllister said. "This is something that doesn't exist in many, if any other parts of the state and really doesn't exist in many parts of the country."

The center is a state-of-art facility with many features designed to keep patients from hurting themselves or someone else.

"From the moment they walk through that front door and we welcome them to the behavioral health unit to the moment they leave, everything is with patient safety in mind," Jeffrey Parobechek, the clinic's manager, said.

Some of the safety features include alarms on the doors, plastic pictures frames instead of glass and special sinks.

The new treatment facility was made possible by Cindy Simon Skjodt and her family's donation of $3.8 million. She hopes the center will help kids get the help they need early in life.

"(The center will) set them on a path to a better life as an adult," Simon Skjodt said.

The center will start seeing patients in July.