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New Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility to serve children with complex mental health conditions

Northwood Children’s Services to provide level of care previously unavailable in Minnesota

7/20/2018 12:00:00 PM

Media inquiries only
Sarah Berg
DULUTH, Minn. — A new Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility in Duluth is bringing a higher level of mental health care for children to Minnesota.
The Northwood Children’s Services Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility is designed to meet the needs of children requiring inpatient psychiatric care. In the past, children requiring these intensive services have had to travel to other states for care. Now, Minnesota families will have more services available closer to home for children most in need. 
Northwood will provide inpatient mental health services in a non-hospital setting for up to 48 children, including intensive medical services; full-time nursing; a higher staff-to-student ratio; intensive psychotherapy; and active treatment throughout each day.
“When a child needs inpatient mental health care, it’s important their parents can be nearby for support as they recover,” said Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities will help parents be available when their kids need them most.”
To receive PRTF services, individuals must be under age 21 and be referred by a mental health professional. In addition to mental health treatment, Northwood Children’s Services’ new West Campus will offer:
  • Educational services in collaboration with the local school district and school district of residence
  • Recreational programming and access to exercise facilities to maintain healthy physical activity
  • Access to other therapies such as occupational therapy, recreational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy or other therapeutic services
  • Health care services, nursing services, dietary services, emergency physician services and medication monitoring.
“We are excited to offer this important service to Minnesota children,” said Dick Wolleat, CEO of Northwood Children’s Services. “It’s been long needed, and now maybe families won’t have to travel so far to get the right treatment for their child.”
Northwood hosted a picnic today, bringing together community members, families, children and officials in an informal atmosphere. It was proceeded by a tour of the facility and presentations by Wolleat, Piper, and local leaders.
Northwood Children’s Services, founded in 1883, is a private, not for profit agency that provides professional care, education and treatment for children with emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities. In addition to its new services in Duluth, Northwood also offers residential and day treatment, diagnostic and assessment services, family mental health services and therapeutic foster care. 
Northwood Children’s Services is the first of three such facilities planned in the next two years, eventually providing 150 beds for children who need these critical services. The Hills Youth and Family Services announced in June that they are building a new 60-bed facility in East Bethel, expected to open in late fall 2019. Clinicare Corporation plans to operate an approximately 40-bed program beginning this fall at a location to be determined, outside of the metro area. 
These services were proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton and approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2015 as part of an historic investment to address gaps in mental health services, especially in Greater Minnesota.
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