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New St. Luke’s unit provides mental health care for youth, teens


St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) recently opened its new Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit to provide safe, expert and compassionate care to children and adolescents experiencing serious mental, emotional or behavioral symptoms.
The Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit is located at St. Luke’s Easton Campus, on the hospital’s third floor. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 14.
“The St. Luke’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit will keep care in the community and close to home,” said Linda Grass, St. Luke’s Easton Campus president. “Young patients who are admitted to the unit can expect to be engaged in an atmosphere where healing and recovery can occur.”
The addition of its Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit further expands St. Luke’s continuum of inpatient behavioral health services, which already includes facilities for adults and the geriatric population. The need for adolescent behavioral health care has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sadly, pediatric mental health admissions in the United States have increased approximately 50% and emergency department visits have doubled related to suicidal attempts and suicidal ideation among youth over the past decade. However, the number of available pediatric inpatient beds have not increased and access to services have remained limited,” noted Dr. Andrew Clark, medical director of the St. Luke’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit.
The 16-bed, 16,000-square-foot unit is specifically designed for patients ages 12 to 18 who are experiencing emotional and behavioral problems that interfere with their daily life, physical health, family or school routine.
The unit’s hospital-based, person-centered treatment offers the patient in crisis opportunities to attend individual sessions with case managers, group sessions with program and nursing staff, and daily assessments completed by the psychiatrist or advanced practitioners.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, specialized nurses, advanced care practitioners and other certified mental health professionals will staff the St. Luke’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit 24/7.