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Governor announces new Youth Mental Health Hospital in Hays

HAYS — Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wednesday that Camber Children’s Mental Health (formerly KVC Hospitals) should begin accepting patients and providing care by early February at its new youth mental health hospital in Hays. Governor Kelly first announced the partnership between Camber and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to open a modern acute care facility to meet the needs of youth in western Kansans in December 2021.

“Like much of the nation, we are at a crisis point here in Kansas when it comes to mental health,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “This hospital will provide much-needed resources and treatment for Kansan youth facing mental health crises. I am impressed with the commitment shown by the leaders of KDADS and Camber to not only the youth of western Kansas, but also the communities this center will impact.”

The contractual agreement between KDADS and Camber, effective through June 30, 2027, specifies admissions to a 14-bed licensed hospital for youth 18 and under to include up to 10 State Institutional Alternative (SIA) beds without deportation and without rejection focused on patients from the Larned State Hospital (LSH) catchment area. This newly refurbished center will also continue to provide the Residential Psychiatric Treatment Facility (PRTF) services currently provided by Camber in Hays.

“The opening of this center in Hays offers a unique opportunity to expand capacity and address mental health disorder needs for children and young people and, as I said earlier, comes at a time of critical psychiatric services for children,” said KDADS secretary Laura Howard.

At this state-of-the-art facility, Camber medical and mental health professionals will provide both inpatient and residential care for young people in need of intensive services to help them stabilize, build resilience and develop coping skills so they can go home as soon as possible as safely as possible to continue outpatient treatment in their community.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our services in Hays and surrounding communities so we can further enhance the positive impact these services are having on children’s lives when they need it most,” said Bobby Eklofe, president of Camber Children’s Mental Health. “This new treatment facility features the latest technology and safety monitoring in a child-centered, welcoming space, enabling children to receive critical therapeutic care as soon as they need it in an atmosphere that promotes healing and well-being “.

In addition to state funding, the opening of Camber Hays is due in part to the generosity of several private organizations. The Patterson Family Foundation, the Robert & Patricia Schmidt Foundation, and the Dane G. Hansen Foundation have made significant financial contributions to support children’s mental health through Camber’s expanded services. Camber Hays will be able to serve 600 more young people each year who are struggling with suicide, depression, anxiety, trauma impacts, self-harm and other mental disorders closer to home.

Acute hospital treatment includes:

• Complete medical, clinical and nursing evaluation within the first 24 hours of admission

• Critical psychiatric care and medication management

• Individual, family and group therapy sessions

• Coordination of cases

• 24/7 support and supervision by Camber’s trained nursing staff

• Innovative treatment and education to teach young people about their brain and how to regulate their emotions

Families, community mental health centres, health professionals, schools and agencies seeking mental health care for young people can contact the Camber Admissions team 24/7 on 913 -890-7468.

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