Aug 6, 2013 at 9:27 am
ST. CLOUD (KNSI) - A program which has treated central Minnesota children with mental illness for nearly a century will see major updates in the near future.
St. Cloud Catholic Charities Children's Home, tucked back in a quiet south St. Cloud neighborhood, is receiving a $4.6 million dollar expansion to the Intensive Treatment residential program.
The organization hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility on Monday afternoon.
The home supports young people between 9 and 18 facing significant mental health issues like depression, bi-polar disorder and other diagnoses requiring daily, professional support.
The expansion to the home's Cottage 2 will provide single rooms for up to 16 young people facing these issues, while including a gym, day room, dining area, library and secure outdoor area.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Steve Bresnahan says the updates speak to the constantly changing nature of mental health issues faced by youth today.
"90 years - everything has changed," Bresnahan says. "Society has changed, families have changed, the needs the stresses - we're seeing kids today with issues that, 90 years ago, never would have been imagined."
The home is all-inclusive; in addition to counseling, kids also receive a regular District 742 education right on campus.
Bresnahan says the average stay is around 4-6 months. Some of the residents graduate to other programs, others return home to their families.
Bresnahan says the features of the new facility - including plans to add five more staff members - will help them assist the individual needs of each kid more effectively.
"You have a kid come in, and they're struggling, you just figure out what you can do," he says. "Some times, this means creating or developing a new program."
The St. Cloud Children's Home opened its doors as an orphanage in 1924, and began serving kids with mental health struggles in the 1940s. Catholic Charities' secure treatment program launched in 1988 in Fergus Falls.
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