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Dayton Children's breaks ground for new behavioral health hospital

Ngozi Cole
Dayton Children’s Hospital breaks ground on new behavioral health building, a 100,000 sq ft, 3-story facility with nearly 50 inpatient beds, therapy and day treatment programs, meditation and games spaces.

Dayton Children’s Hospital broke ground on Monday, May 8, on its new behavioral health building.

Spanning over 100,000 square feet, the three-story building will have nearly 50 inpatient beds and offer therapy programs, crisis assessment rooms, day treatment programs, and spaces for meditation and games.

Last year, Dayton Children’s saw over 7000 children with mental health issues at its crisis center.

Although the hospital opened a mental and behavioral health inpatient unit in July 2019, they say the current 24 beds are not enough to care for the growing need.

Kelly Blankenship, the Associate Chief Medical Officer of behavioral health, said the need for this expansion is urgent.

“These numbers are just skyrocketing,” Blankenship said. So it's really getting the kids the help they need when they need it, and so that we can really start working right away on changing some of their thought processes and some of those negative coping skills.”

Construction for the new mental health care center will start in May, and it is expected to open in spring 2025.

This building is about serving the kids in our community in the midst of this behavioral health crisis,” Blankenship said.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.