Providence Children’s Museum receives $150,000 for new mental health program

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PROVIDENCE RI (WPRI) – The Providence Children’s Museum is launching a new “play-based therapy program” that it says will help children “explore their feelings” and improve mental health.

The museum said it will work with local organizations to provide children and families, including those living in the care system, dealing with grief or living apart from incarcerated parents, better access to mental health resources and workshops.

The program is supported by $150,000 in federal funding secured by Senator Jack Reed, who visited the museum Wednesday to discuss the program.

Reed said emergency visits to hospitals for children with mental health problems have increased from nearly 6% to 30%.

“We don’t have the staff or the facilities if we don’t work together and cooperate to solve this problem,” Reed said.

The program has been in the works since several local pediatric organizations declared a child and adolescent mental health emergency due to the pandemic.

“This is an institution that we all trust and love,” Reed said. “It is resolved to be a key community partner in solving critical issues, mental health being one of those issues.”

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