OU Children’s Provides New Technology for Children Coping with Mental Health Crisis

New technology at OU Children’s Hospital focuses on making the experience safer for children when they are in a behavioral health crisis.

“Sudoku turned into some opportunities for search, math and checkers,” says OU Health’s Karen Webb.

“It works for all ages,” says Dr. Robyn Cowperthwaite and OU Health.

There are rooms specially designed for children.

“These kids come in during a crisis and they’re very upset, sad, depressed, agitated,” Dr. Copperthwaite said.

The three new wards give parents peace of mind knowing exactly where they can take their children during a behavioral health crisis.

“This allows the child to control the environment,” Weber said.

One room is focused on de-escalation and recovery when they are in a safer environment.

“We have a clock function, so depending on the age of the child, they can be oriented,” Weber said.

A recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that 13 percent of children spend more than 12 hours in the hospital for mental health checks, and OU Health wants to make that easier.

“We think the most exciting thing is that kids will be able to express themselves, rather than the normal pens and pencils that can cause problems,” Weber said.

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