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Brook Lane accepts first patient into new Child & Adolescent High Acuity Respite Pilot Program: could be replicated and expanded across the state

Brook Lane, Western Maryland’s largest non-profit mental health system is excited to announce that it has accepted the first resident into a new Child & Adolescent High Acuity Respite (Residential) Program.

A $1,080,000.00 grant from the Senator George C. Edwards Fund supported the renovations needed to open this new program on Brook Lane’s main campus, adjacent to its psychiatric hospital. The program will house patients between the ages of 8 and 17 who are experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis. Due to it’s location, this Residential Unit will provide all of the resources of a mental health hospital without the child actually being in an inpatient psychiatric setting. Opening the new unit will help alleviate pressure on area emergency department admis­sions and on the inpatient units in Brook Lane’s hospital.

There is an immediate need to support adolescents experiencing extended and repetitive stays in hospitals for psychiatric care in the state of Maryland. For youth in a behavioral or mental health crisis who need immediate intervention, the goal is simple - avoid hospitalization when possible, provide life-saving inpatient services when needed and transition each child back to a family and community setting. However, Maryland’s mental health needs greatly exceed currently available services.

“This new program will allow more time for permanent resources to be established for each child. It also will free up valuable inpatient beds which will provide placement for children who are being boarded in hospital emergency departments,” says Jeffery D. O’Neal, CEO. “The children and adolescents staying in our Residential program also will be able to receive ongoing educational services through Brook Lane’s Laurel Hall School, which is the continuum of care that is so important in the healing process.”

Brook Lane will be working with the Maryland Department of Health Behavioral Health Administration, which will provide funding for the management of this pilot program. It has the potential to be replicated and expanded across the state of Maryland. A ribbon cutting will be held on Thursday, March 7 at 4:00 pm, open to the public.

About Brook Lane:

Brook Lane is western Maryland’s largest, non-profit mental health system. The main campus in Hagerstown, MD is home to the second largest freestanding psychiatric hospital in Maryland, serving children, adolescents, and adults. Brook Lane provides a residential program for children and adolescents, partial hospitalization services for both adults and children and operates Title 1 special education schools in Washington County and Frederick County. Brook Lane’s three outpatient locations in Hagerstown, Frederick and Cumberland offer psychiatry services and therapy for various ages. The InSTEP program provides outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment options for individuals with substance use treatment needs. For more information, visit