May is Mental Health Month! All kids deserve kind, safe, welcoming places to grow.

Washburn Center Expands One-of-a-kind Youth Emergency Mental Health Program in New Partnership with Children’s Minnesota

As Concerning Statistics Soar, Twin Cities Non-Profit Expands Scope of Aftercare Support for Kids Following Mental-Health-Related Emergency Department Visits

Minnesota’s youth is in crisis. The CDC reported that in 2020, mental health-related emergency department (ED) visits among adolescents aged 12–17 years increased 31% compared with that during 2019. And female adolescents are feeling even more pressure, with suspected suicide attempt ED visits being 51% higher among girls aged 12–17.

These sorts of ED visits can put a family in a tailspin; struggling to know the path forward. In response, the Washburn Acute Response Model (WARM) pairs youth in crisis with a Washburn Center therapist specializing in stabilization and transitional support.

As youth are released from partner hospital systems, clinicians work with families in their homes to develop strategies for increased stability, strengthen relationships and connect to ongoing services. Therapists offer a 24-hour on-call service and collaborate with other providers to identify needs and develop strategies for increased stability.

Starting service in Spring 2022, a new partnership with Children’s Minnesota’s hospital system is primed to impact hundreds more families every year; in the moments when they need it most.

“When you take your child to the ED in a mental health crisis – it’s hard to imagine how you even begin healing,” said Jenny Britton, LISCW, Director of Children and Family Services at Washburn Center. “WARM gives families a stable guide in these overwhelming days. Having a therapist to help navigate dark times and support you in identifying stabilizing community resources; that’s a very powerful thing.”

The implementation of the WARM model at Children’s is an expansion of the innovative program that began with Allina in 2018. Since then, the program has grown to address the rising hospitalizations of youth facing mental health crises, which has deepened in the pandemic. WARM is already operating in 15 Allina clinic and hospital locations.

This expansion means more children will receive early intensive intervention that can significantly counteract these severe challenges and give youth and families the chance to heal and thrive.

“Building community partnerships with organizations like Washburn Center for Children strengthens our community-wide approach to meet the mental health needs of kids and teens,” said Jamie Winter, director of mental health services at Children’s Minnesota. “We are confident that this partnership will improve outcomes for kids and make sure they get the right level of care when they need it.”

The full list of hospitals and clinics connected to the WARM program is below. New additions to the system are bolded:

  • Add children’s locations
  • Abbott – 800 E 28th St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
  • Bandana Square – 1021 Bandana Blvd E, St Paul, MN 55108
  • Bloomington – 7920 Old Cedar Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55425
  • Buffalo – 303 Catlin St, Buffalo, MN 55313
  • Cambridge – 701 S Dellwood St, Cambridge, MN 55008
  • Coon Rapids – 4050 Coon Rapids Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433
  • Cottage Grove – 8611 W E Point Douglas Rd S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
  • District One – 200 State Ave, Faribault, MN 55021
  • Mercy-Unity – 550 Osborne Rd NE, Fridley, MN 55432
  • New Ulm – 1324 5th St N, New Ulm, MN 56073
  • Owatonna – 2250 NW 26th St, Owatonna, MN 55060
  • Ramsey Clinic – 7231 Sunwood Dr NW, Ramsey, MN 55303
  • Francis – 1455 St Francis Ave, Shakopee, MN 55379
  • United – 333 Smith Ave N, St Paul, MN 55102
  • West Health – 2805 & 2855 Campus Dr, Plymouth, MN 55441