November 27, 2022
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Children struggling with mental health to have new help with new Children’s Healthcare campus – WSB-TV Channel 2

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga — A large donation to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will help more children to overcome mental illness.

This week, Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach got a first look at the new facility opening near the children’s campus at North Druid Hills.

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The property donated by David and Helen Zalik and their foundation has been called transformational.

After already launching a commitment to kids’ mental health, this facility accelerates the new program.

The property — two nondescript office buildings tucked away in a tree-lined 10 acres along the frontage road of Interstate- 85 near North Druid Hills — will become the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Zalik Behavioral and Mental Health Center.

The property, valued at more than $30 million, sits just down the road from where the new Arthur M. Blank Hospital is going up.

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“So it’s going to provide such an incredible opportunity to really build a campus dedicated to mental and behavioral health. It’s a dream,” Donna W. Hyland, CEO of the hospital said.

Hyland says the gift will allow a major increase in capacity for mental health services, just for kids, after the need skyrocketed during COVID-19.

Dr. John Constantine, who just arrived as the facility’s new chair of behavioral and mental health, says they see children with everything from depression and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychosis.

The new center will bring together new services, outpatient care, preventive, therapeutic support and continued treatment past the initial mental health crisis.

“Some of those services are done in-person, some are done virtually, but for all the workers and people that are delivering those services, and venues for the kind of interventions that need to be done in person, you need space,” Constantine said.

While Georgia had really fallen behind other states in mental health care, the goal is to make this a model for the country.

The hospital plans to close on the property by the end of the year and will keep its current buildings, so it can really ramp up services into 2023.

“This is essential to have a place for them to do what they do, so it’s just perfect, so we’ll be able to expand services immediately,” Hyland said.

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