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  • In the News: New groundbreaking psychiatric unit first of its kind in NYC is tailored to teens and young adults

    Editor July 1st

    In January 2024, Kings County Hospital in East Flatbush, Brooklyn opened an inpatient unit designed for patients ages 16 to 23 who have been diagnosed with early episode psychotic illness. This unit is the first of its kind in New York. The hospital also recently became a site for a pilot program called “OnTrackNY” to treat patients ages 16 to 30 with early episode psychosis in an outpatient setting.

    Why is this unit so groundbreaking?


    • People ages 16 – 23 need special care: The reason why this unit is so special is that most hospitals divide their treatment of psychiatric patients by putting those 18 and older in adult units, and those younger than 18 in pediatric units. But, Kings County Hospital staff realized that patients of this age have particular mental health needs that cannot be treated by the typical methods used for adult patients or child patients. For example, young adults who are 16 years old do not have the same needs as children (communication, social situations, adult-type pressures), so they generally do not respond as well to the same treatments that are given to younger children.
    • Timing of support: Studies have shown that depression, bipolar disorderschizophrenia, some forms of alcohol and drug abuse, and other disorders that cause psychosis usually first come up during the teenage years or the first few years of adulthood. These first episodes often cause young adults to drop out of school and lose their jobs. So, it is important, according to Kings County Hospital Center experts, to step in to help the first time that young people have behavioral changes caused by psychosis.
    • Family Communication and support: Both the inpatient young adult unit and OnTrackNY, the outpatient program for young adults, encourage the patient’s family to be involved in all aspects of their treatment and progress. They also offer support groups to help families understand their family member’s illness and treatment plan, and to be around other parents experiencing similar challenges.

    Click HERE to read more about this exciting new resource at Kings County Hospital.

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