By Rick Shepherd, Communications Manager
Our mission: Create, find & support programs that improve the health and well-being of children & their families.
That includes mental health.
September in National Suicide Prevention Month and the rate of suicide among those aged 10 to 24 increased nearly 60% between 2007 and 2018, according to a report released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another report in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Network Open, shows an increase in depression and suicide among children after COVID-19 consumed China. And a study of the affects on children of a particularly stressful election season has yet to be conducted.
It does seem to be no better time for a new hospital structure devoted to mental health care for children and adolescents. Nationwide Children’s Hospital happened to open it’s Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion here in Columbus, just as the pandemic was starting to get attention in the United States. The national health crisis caused a slow opening of the pavilion and the opening of the Ronald McDonald Family Room on the fifth floor of the building. But now the room is open, just as this volatile year begins to come to a close and the cold gray of winter approaches.
These are tough times to be sure. Businesses have shuttered or struggled to stay open and our non-profit charity has needed to find multiple, unique ways to continue to bring in revenue in so our programs can continue to help families. That includes the new Family Room. Staff members at the Ronald McDonald House are taking turns covering shifts at the new Family Room while our volunteer-staffed Family Room at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital has been closed due to the pandemic. Because of the unique purpose of the BHP’s Family Room, a specially-trained staff member must be present when the room is open to families 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For the next ten days, you and your network of family, friends, & co-workers have the ability to help us keep the new Family Room fully functional for those who need it. By simply casting your vote for RMHC of Central Ohio in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant competition online, you’ll be making a positive impact on families getting the care their children need in this state-of-the-art new facility. Click the link below to read the grant submission by our CEO, Dee Anders and then be sure to click the “vote” button at the end of the request. You can vote ten times per day now through October 2. Should RMHC of Central Ohio be one of the top 40 finalists, $25,000 will be awarded to help the new Family Room.