Nationwide Children's Hospital opens the biggest behavioral health center for kids in the country

A growing number of children are being diagnosed with anxiety, depression and other behavioral health challenges, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the ever-increasing need for treatment, this year Nationwide Children’s Hospital is opening the nation’s largest center dedicated solely to pediatric behavioral health issues.

Named the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion due to a $50 million gift from Big Lots and the Big Lots Foundation, the nine-story facility is located near the main hospital just off East Livingston Avenue near German Village.

The new building will host a psychiatric crisis center, a crisis stabilization unit, inpatient psychiatry units and intensive outpatient programs including the Outpatient Crisis Clinic, Mood & Anxiety; family-based intensive treatment; general psychiatry; a partial hospitalization program; and the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research.

The building will involve 48 inpatient beds with the possibility of expanding. By opening the facility, the hospital’s leaders hope to reduce stigma—sending a message that behavioral health is just as important as cancer, asthma and other physical ailments.

Also built into the $158 million facility will be state-of-the-art outdoor spaces including a rooftop play deck and porches so that inpatients can access outdoor space without leaving secure inpatient units.

“Following the latest evidence-based treatment philosophies, the building provides patients with access to open community spaces instead of keeping them isolated,” explains Dr. David Axelson, the hospital’s chief of psychiatry and behavioral health.

Reprinted from Columbus Monthly Health 2020.