AURORA, Colo. – Robin Cutright’s son, Zach, fell into a deep depression about a year and a half ago. The 26 year old from Aurora is on the autism spectrum, but is very high functioning. “We really didn`t know how it was going to end,” she said. “He started feeling very suicidal, and had a hard time also making good choices.”
It was tough to manage. In 16 months, Zach went to the emergency room about 50 times, and to crisis centers about 30 times. Then Robin brought him to the Behavioral Health and Wellness Center at the Medical Center of Aurora, where he enrolled in an outpatient program that includes recreational, art and music therapy. “This program was such a blessing to our family,” Robin said.
Now Zach is doing well, and Robin is relieved to know that this HealthONE facility is expanding, so more people can be helped.
COO Cindy Meyer says there will be about 50 new beds. Six to eight beds will be for children as young as four, another 12 will be for adolescents and the rest will be for adults, with an increase in geriatric services.
She knows the need is great, and too many patients are turned away because there is no room. The facility had to turn away 279 patients in April, and more than 300 in March because they were full.
This expansion will bring the total bed count to 128. It won’t solve the problem, but clinicians hope it will help.
“The more beds, the more services we have, the more people we can treat,” said Jeff Johnson, the Director of Outpatient Services. “It’s tough when we have individuals come in that we know need our services and we are unable to provide that due to capacity.”
Construction begins this summer. If you or someone you know needs help – contact the facility for an assessment.
The Medical Center of Aurora
1501 S. Potomac Street
Aurora, CO 80012
Telephone: (303) 695-2600