As behavioral health issues continue to challenge youth in our community, Looking Glass finds ways to serve those needs. Through collaboration with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), PeaceHealth, Pacific Source Health Plans, Trillium Community Health Plans and other partners, a remodeling project was completed on our River Road campus to prepare it for opening the Regional Crisis Center in the coming weeks. The 24-hour, 14-bed facility will house intensive treatment care clients and serve some of our area’s most vulnerable youth. The RCC will serve all genders from all over the state of Oregon, ages 12 to 18 and will offer group and individual therapy and trauma-informed behavioral support. This is the first facility of its kind in the state and will serve a youth population which is currently severely lacking in treatment options.
“Looking Glass and Oregon DHS are concerned about the urgent, unmet needs of traumatized children and youth in Oregon,” said Looking Glass CEO and President, Craig Opperman. “We especially appreciate the resources and partnership DHS has provided. Looking Glass is honored and excited to open this essential new program.”
Overseeing this new facility will be longtime Looking Glass Counseling Program Director, Elizabeth Schwarz, who has transitioned to her new role as Director of the Regional Crisis Center. Additional staff were hired in recent months including roles such as a Medical Director, Therapists, Case Managers, Social Service Assistants, Food Service Coordinators, Cooks, Registered Nurses and more.
In addition to the remodeling project and increased staffing, Schwarz cited the need for various toys, books, games and other support resources that are still needed - interested donors can assist with these remaining item needs by viewing and purchasing items on our Amazon Wish List.
Among other crucial project partners in opening the RCC was PeaceHealth, who identified the massive challenges we have in our community in serving youth of this acuity level.
“We’re so excited to be working with community partners who share our passion for closing this critical service gap,” said Alicia Beymer, PeaceHealth Oregon director of home care services and chair of the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Community Health Board’s committee on community needs and collaboration. “The Looking Glass team is uniquely qualified to provide the level, quality and scope of care this population needs to transition back to the community.”
Beymer said the emergency departments at both PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center campuses have seen a significant uptick in the number of children and adolescents experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Over the last year, a combined 579 youth in crisis have been served at the RiverBend and University District emergency rooms. While some are assessed and sent home, those deemed to be a potential danger to themselves or others must be kept in a secure room until a safe, appropriate placement can be found. “Too often, there is a delay in finding an appropriate and healing environment for them to go,” Beymer added. “It’s not unusual for young patients to stay in our EDs for many days, or even weeks.”
Staff at the RCC is still working to gather several items for the youth clients, found on our Amazon Wish List, including the examples in the slideshow below: