Today I sent a card to a darling girl. She is the daughter of my friend and she made the brave choice to reveal the suicidal ideation she was experiencing, and get help. The zip code I wrote on the envelope is not of her hometown, or in her county, or even the next county over. She is staying at a hospital which is a 2 1/2 hour drive from home. Her parents both work and there are younger siblings in the family.

I have met so many families in my friend’s situation since my son first showed signs of mental illness. Family support is crucial for the young person who is ill. Also crucial is income, company health insurance, caring for the other kids. Parents agonize over the constant juggling and less than ideal choices.

Today I want to applaud a new choice parents in the Syracuse NY area will have for their children. After years of talking and planning, Upstate Hospital has announced they will be opening eight beds for adolescents in need of psychiatric care. It may seem like a small step, but for the teens and their parents who get to stay in their own community to receive the treatment they need, it will be life-changing.

I and others have been praying for this project to come to fruition. We continue to pray that treatment options will expand even more to meet the great need, not just in the Syracuse area, but across the country. Will you join me?

Here are some things to pray for:
– that more hospitals will have in-house treatment
– that more talented young medical students will choose pediatric psychiatry as their field
– that families will receive the emotional and practical support they need when their kids are ill
– and especially for the precious kids themselves, that they would get effective treatment and assurance that they are loved by God

(With apologies to Ludwig Bemelmans)
In a building in Syracuse
Made of glass and of steel
Waited eight prayed-for beds
In which to rest and to heal.