Since 1971, Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) has been a beacon of hope for people of all ages by providing comprehensive primary and behavioral healthcare.
Funds raised via Give Miami Day will support CHI's remaining need of $319,000 to complete the $5.5 million capital campaign to build a Children's Crisis Center serving the children and youth in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. CHI is committed to improving specialized care for children victimized by abuse or with psychological issues in South Florida. The lack of access to intensive behavioral health treatment and shortage of overnight short-term residential children's crisis units is leaving far too many kids in dire situations without the necessary psychiatric care they desperately need.
Each year, as many as 1,000 children in Miami-Dade County are Baker Acted and brought to CHI's adult crisis center. This staggering number does not include hundreds of other children who are voluntarily brought in by their parents, concerned with their child's mental state. When children are processed under the Baker Act, CHI's doctors and specialists work feverishly to find them a bed at the few local children's crisis centers, but often times there are no available beds. On some occasions, children can wait up to two days in local emergency rooms due to a lack of available beds. Distance is also an issue for children traveling from the southernmost parts of the state. Children with severe mental distress in Homestead and the Florida Keys travel long distances when seeking a children's crisis center, some as much as 100 miles.
The Children's Crisis Center is desperately needed to add additional in-patient beds for our youth in crisis. This intensive in-patient 24-hour facility will be the first comprehensive crisis center in southern Miami-Dade County for children and adolescents.