WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Orchard Park Hospital in Wheeling has officially opened its doors to patients and will fulfill a large need for psychiatric care for children in surrounding communities. 

The 30-bed psychiatric hospital will provide desperately needed mental health care for children and teens ages 5 to 17 in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The services provided will reduce the burden on local emergency rooms, where local children in mental health crises are sometimes housed for days without receiving appropriate psychiatric care.

Officials of The Children’s Home of Wheeling created Orchard Park Hospital in response to the call for youth crisis services.

The CEO of Orchard Park Services shared how excited she is to finally meet this need in the Ohio Valley.

”We are so glad that we are able to finally fulfill this need. You know, for the last few months, we’ve been getting steady phone calls of kids that are just in crisis really desperately looking for this type of service. We’re so glad that we’re finally able to offer this and have that resource, be that resource for the community when these kids are in need.”

Jacquelyn Knight – CEO of Orchard Park Resources

The hospital has also created some 40 new jobs for the area, including nursing, direct care, maintenance, and cooking positions. 

Patient referrals are now being accepted at the hospital but children and adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis must be first medically cleared by their local emergency room to initiate this process.