Phillips House and NYGH: Meeting the mental health care of our children and youth
As dedicated supporters of youth mental health care in our community, I wanted to share some insights on how services were continuing and being managed during this COVID crisis. I was so pleased and comforted to hear how our staff and physicians have adapted to care for our children.
Most of the program offerings were moved to a virtual care model more than three weeks ago, with some of the more urgent mental health patients still being seen on site.
From Monday to Friday, there is always a therapist and psychiatrist present at Phillips House. All patients who are able are being cared for through virtual means and while not ideal, it is still a connection that is critical to maintain. Our Day Program staff are also available to coordinate outreach, which includes online schooling at both the primary and secondary level. Eating Disorder patients are still being seen at Phillips House. All in-person appointments and sessions have their challenges because of the personal protective equipment that must be worn by the staff, but all are adapting well.
The value of Phillips House facility and the inpatient unit at our main site can’t be understated. Many hospitals in the city have reduced services to adolescent and youth mental health care, which means North York General is seeing an influx of inpatients and outpatients from outside our community.
As you may know, the inside of Phillips House has curated art throughout to bring warmth, humanity, reflection and joy to our patients and their families. Over the next month, we are bringing this same ethos to our inpatient unit and each room will have a customized piece by local artist Antonio Caballero. Here is one of his pieces called Playground of the World, destined to be enjoyed by our young patients.