Less than one month after completing the World Marathon Challenge, I attended the opening of the new Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at Children’s National Health System. It was very moving for me to be a part of the occasion on many levels.
The new unit will provide a state-of-the-art therapeutic unit, where children and young people can be safely treated for psychiatric and behavioral illnesses. Everything from the color scheme and imagery to the learning and exercise facilities are designed to support the healing process to the maximum. I visited it some months ago during construction, and I loved seeing it finished and ready to receive patients. It’s been completed just in the nick of time. There has been a doubling of patient admissions for psychiatric assessment and treatment over the last year.
It’s been completed just in the nick of time. There has been a doubling of patient admissions for psychiatric assessment and treatment over the last year.
One of the speakers was a 17-year-old who had been treated at Children’s National for anxiety and depression three years ago. At the time, she did not expect to see her 15th birthday. But today she spoke joyfully about her life and plans to study philosophy through to her doctorate. It takes a rare and very brave 17-year-old to stand up and tell this story and in doing so, make it easier for other young people and parents to come forward and seek help.
We also heard from Michael Williams, Board Chairman; Kurt Newman, President and CEO; and Adelaide Robb, Chief Psychiatrist. It has been a thrill to be a part of the realization of their dream: to tackle psychiatric and behavioral illness in childhood and help children return to the educational system and eventually enter the workforce, because the treatments available now make that a realistic goal.
And it was, of course, very special to be recognized and applauded for my World Marathon Challenge campaign and the subsequent media coverage about the cause of pediatric mental health. Moving forward, my mission is to continue addressing the enduring stigmas that prevent sick children from receiving the treatment they need. I’m grateful for all your support thus far. While the race is complete, my fundraising isn’t. The goal was to raise $1 million dollars for Children’s National, and I have yet to cross that finish line. Thank you if you have already supported me. If you would still like to get behind this cause, please visit www.taketherisk.run.
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Jonathan Terrell is the Founder and President of KCIC. He has more than 30 years of international financial services experience with a multi-disciplinary background in accounting, finance and insurance. Prior to founding KCIC in 2002, he worked at Zurich Financial Services, JP Morgan, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.Learn More About Jonathan