GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A behavioral health facility that’s been serving adults in the Green Bay area since January is ready to extend a helping hand to a new age group.
Willow Creek Behavioral Health is opening up a brand-new adolescent inpatient unit next week, offering young adults, ages 12 to 18, a place to get the psychiatric help and 24/7 support they need to live a healthy life.
It’s a population Doug Ginn, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Strategic Behavioral Health, said is drastically underserved.
“Their (adolescents) second leading cause of death is suicide. We have an epidemic in our communities of childhood suicide and teenage suicide,” said Ginn. “Kids get into crisis and they don’t know how to ask for help and how to get support and those children, if they are able to be located, they come to us for help and we get them through the crisis.”
Ginn said finding those who really need help is going to be a community-wide effort that requires working with many different partners, including the Green Bay Area Public School District.
“We witness every day the struggles our adolescents are facing in regard to their mental health,” said Angela Buchenauer, Assoc. Dir. Pupil Services, Green Bay Area Public School District. “The needs in our students are above and beyond what we see and are capable of serving and to have Willow Creek come in, it provides another opportunity for students and families to get the help they need.”
“It’s an epidemic among our adolescents right now,” said Dr. Gregory Smith, CEO of Willow Creek Behavioral Health. “Something has pushed them that far that they are thinking of this and I want to make sure we have the tools, resources, time, staff and effort to always be available for this community.”
Willow Creek Behavioral Health is hoping to admit its first adolescent patient next week.
Willow Creek is a 72-bed psychiatric facility that takes in referrals, admissions and clinical assessments 24/7.