Pennsylvania hospital brings back pediatric mental health services

After pausing services in January, the pediatric behavioral health unit at Sharon (Pa.) Regional Medical Center is open again, local news outlets reported Dec. 11. 

The hospital had to temporarily pause the acceptance of new patients to its pediatric behavioral health unit early this year due to staffing shortages, officials said in a news release shared with NBC affiliate WFMJ. Since then, the hospital has been focused on recruiting top psychiatric nurses and healthcare workers and is now able to revive this service. The unit accepts patients ages 5 to 18. 

"The need for psychiatric care for children and adolescents is great," T.J. Hudock, senior director of behavioral health services at Sharon Regional, told ABC affiliate WYTV. "I think it's fairly established that children's mental health is in a state of crisis in the United States right now." 

Referrals to the unit can be made from any hospital emergency department in Pennsylvania and neighboring Ohio. It is Pennsylvania's only licensed inpatient facility for children and adolescents within a 1.5-hour radius of the Sharon area. 

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