Keeping kids in the community: New mental health center opens in Asheville

A 24-hour psychiatric facility isn’t the only treatment option for children with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties.

A new center in Asheville aims to keep families closer together while determining what kind of care is best for the child. On April 27, healthcare professionals, partners and advocates celebrated the opening of Eliada Assessment Center, operated by Eliada Homes.

The center, supported by Vaya Health in partnership with Youth Villages, is considered a psychiatric residential treatment facility. However, stays last no more than 30 days as professionals provide treatment and assess the child’s needs. The nine-bed facility serves boys and girls ages 11 through 17 from throughout the region.

A variety of cognitive, learning-related or adaptive functioning tests may determine that a longer stay at a residential facility is in the child’s best interest. However, the assessment may find that local, less restrictive treatment is a better option.

A key goal is keeping children close to their homes and families, said Vaya CEO Brian Ingraham. “Research shows that young people – and their families – do better when they receive treatment near their home communities and in the least-restrictive environment possible,” he said.

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