MOREHEAD – Children are the only focus at Pathway’s Walker House facility. Six beds accommodate children who are experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis. It is designed for children age 6 to 17.
“Walker House provides a safe, structured and supportive place for children and adolescents experiencing a psychiatric crisis,” Theresa Bradley said.
Bradley is the Children’s Crisis Stabilization Unit Director and has been with Pathways for 26 years. She has spent the last 20 years serving as director of the Walker House, since it opened.
Grant writer Chris Walker was able to get funding to establish the facility. She passed away before the project completed on May 1, 1999, and the building was named in her honor.
“She was instrumental in getting new services established in this area,” Bradley said.
An art room, a kitchen, a laundry room and two offices also complement the house. Therapists use chores to develop good behaviors and these behaviors earn points. Using a simulated economy, points are redeemable at a store. Coloring books, toys and other items are typically stocked in the store.
Licensed therapists staff an office several times per week for counseling sessions. Telehealth is available and fills in the rest of the week. Individual, group and family therapy sessions are available.
Pathway’s service region is the primary referral area. But professional referrals from outside the service region also are accepted.
“As a therapist, it is important to me to have the option to refer children locally so that they receive the services they need close to home and families have the opportunity to participate in their children’s treatment,” says Jill Boggs, a school-based/outpatient therapist. “Because the Walker House is committed to working with children and families, it is a tremendous asset to this community.”
Their goal is to prevent unnecessary hospitalization and to provide a therapeutic respite. This helps to reunite children and adolescents with their families.
“I have referred numerous children to the Walker House over the years due to its capacity to provide behavioral health services to children in crisis in the least restrictive environment,” Boggs added.
Admission is voluntary and patients will have to follow the rules of the program to stay at the facility.
The facility is staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week.