New pediatric psychiatric unit to open in C.S. Mott Children’s hospital

March 30, 2016  //  FOUND IN: News,



Regardless of disease – mental or physical – every child deserves the best possible care in the best possible environment.

As part of our commitment to providing the highest standards of care to children and adolescents, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital recently completed construction of a the Nyman Family Unit for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellness, a state-of-the-art 16-bed pediatric inpatient psychiatric unit.

The University of Michigan is one of only a handful of children’s psychiatric facilities in the state that can accept patients that may require management of  co-occurring medical illness – children suffering, for instance, from the effects of a serious suicide attempt, or an additional chronic illness such as diabetes.

The 16,000 square foot unit, scheduled to open on April 4, 2016, will provide inpatient care for pediatric patients through the age of 17.

“A safe, warm and pleasant healing environment is so critical to recovery from psychiatric disorders,” said Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Director, Ben Biermann, M.D., Ph.D. “The Nyman Family Unit for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellness will allow us to treat our patients in a beautiful, state of the art setting designed to foster mental wellness and promote healing.”

Notable features include:

  • 12 of the 16 beds are in private rooms, providing a level of privacy that enhances the treatment and healing process.
  • Each patient room – and many common areas – are adorned by grand windows allowing for ample natural light and stunning views of U-M’s Nichols Arboretum and the surrounding area.
  • Open, accessible comfort areas provide calming space for patients to step away and practice mindfulness and self soothing skills.
  • Group spaces, including an open dining area, are designed to be colorful and encourage interaction.
  • All private rooms have space for an adult family member to stay with the child overnight, reflecting the important role family plays in the healing environment.
  • The unit features a unit-within-the-unit specially designed for children with special developmental needs, or those children that require more staff interaction related to their unique needs.
  • A sensory room offers a therapeutic environment for patients who would benefit from sensory play and intervention, including calming sensory activities, soft colors and a restful environment.
  • An open, Michigan-themed gym gives patients an opportunity to move and play, shoot hoops and get some exercise.
  • A full-slate of activity programming will be available for patients, including art activities, dialectical and cognitive behavioral skills teaching, self soothing skills, and other therapeutic activities – including weekend programming.

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Safety at the forefront

Every aspect of the new unit was designed with safety in mind.  Secure access, recessed fixtures and unobstructed line of sight from the nurses’ stations down all main hallways will ensure optimal patient safety in a warm, secure and nurturing environment.

Part of the Mott family

The new unit’s location within the hospital is a major benefit for staff and families alike.

Families will have direct access to the amenities and support services available in the Children’s Hospital, including spiritual care, the Family Center, sibling support services, and the Getaway and Play dining area.

The unit’s location will also allow for more direct access to the hospital’s full cohort of pediatric medical staff, for the benefit of medically acute patients and patients requiring consultation from other pediatric sub-specialties.

An extraordinary environment for extraordinary care

“Treating children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders is challenging work of the highest priority, and we have worked to design and build a healing space for the unique needs of these children from top-to-bottom,” says Nicole Figueroa, RN, Clinical Nurse Supervisor for The Nyman Family Unit for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellness. Each aspect of the unit was designed from floor to ceiling with input from the nurses, physicians and support staff involved in caring for children with psychiatric illness.

In addition, patients and families were involved in designing the new unit and providing feedback on the plans.

“This unit is truly for the kids and their families” says Figueroa.  “We really believe that – with their help – we have built a space that may truly be the finest pediatric inpatient psychiatry unit in the nation.  Our patients and families deserve this, and it’s something we can all be proud of.”

A life-changing gift

The unit was made possible through a transformative gift from Jo Elyn Nyman, a psychotherapist based in Birmingham, Michigan, as well as a trustee of the Samuel and Jean Frankel Health and Research Foundation.

“I hope to provide these vulnerable patients with a comfortable and safe space that will enhance their recovery,” said Jo Elyn Nyman. “This gift is representative of my commitment to young people who struggle with psychiatric illnesses.”


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