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An array of youth and children with a light blue overlay.

getting help
here at home

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the need

More than ever before, children and youth are experiencing mental and behavioral health crises. Providers both nationally and here in Douglas County have seen an increase in children and families needing specialized care.

In 2024, the number of youth seeking Urgent Care at the Treatment & Recovery Center of Douglas County (TRC) has increased to an average of 19 per month, compared to 16 in 2023. O’Connell Children’s Shelter, a local partner of BNC, has also seen a rise in the need for youth crisis care.


Bert Nash clients are under 18


increase in youth needing care at the TRC in 2024

We define "crisis" as situations where stressors and symptoms exceed a youth's coping abilities and pose safety concerns within the community. 

TRC staff provide crisis intervention and psychiatric emergency care for adults for up to 72 hours, however, youth under 18 cannot access that care due to drastically different developmental, social, and clinical needs. TRC staff can connect youth and their families to care at other facilities outside of our community, but they cannot provide the full avenues of care offered to adults.

The Youth Recovery Center will fill a critical gap by offering much-needed short-term crisis intervention services for children and teens.

Currently, families must leave the safety and familiarity of Douglas County during an incredibly challenging time to access the necessary level of care and safety for their child. Nearby facilities in neighboring counties are disconnected, and often cumbersome to navigate, especially during crisis. This creates extensive barriers to initial crisis care and wrap-around services. The YRC will provide a safe and trauma informed low barrier environment, where families will not have to wait for hours for admission, or drive hours each day to participate in treatment. We will wrap services around them by creating a safe space to heal and grow right here at home.

In Spring 2023, BNC seized the opportunity to acquire the property at 3500 Clinton Place through a transformative charitable sale. The space requires extensive renovation to create a state-of-the-art child and youth-focused center, where a range of services will be available, from outpatient therapy to comprehensive support for more acute symptoms.

“Kids may not want to hear it, but you can do it. I did it. I hated my life, I didn’t want to live and now I’m here.” 

– Daniel, BNC Youth Client

Most importantly, this facility will address the pressing need for dedicated emergency psychiatric care for young individuals, and it will be the first of its kind not only in the state of Kansas, but in the region.

Youth & families in Douglas County deserve immediate, accessible crisis care. 

daniel's story

“Knowing you’re in a calm, safe place is very reassuring because it’s a terrible position to be in as the parent, it’s terrible for the child who is struggling and is in crisis, they are frightened and sad, not feeling themselves, and worried about what will happen when they get there, and what will happen they leave ... having something just for children & teens will be even better.” – Sally, Daniel's Mom

Daniel and Sally talk about their experience receiving crisis care at the Treatment & Recovery Center of Douglas County followed by supportive services through Bert Nash. 

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A Black parent and child sit on a sofa. The parent holds the child's hands to comfort them.

outcomes for youth & families

  • Families will only need to go to one location to receive services, from crisis care to less acute outpatient therapy.

  • Overnight stays lasting 2-3 days for more acute care with 8 individual beds available.

  • Crisis interventions and resources will stabilize youth to reduce the likelihood of needing longer term residential treatment centers, emergency rooms, and higher levels of care.

  • Youth and families will have access to current BNC programs

    • Outpatient Therapy

    • Psychological Assessments

    • Adolescent Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT is an intensive therapeutic program that helps with chronic and severe emotional dysregulation. 

    • Case Management

    • Behavioral Health Supports

  • And new programs

    • Emergency crisis care

    • Short-term In-patient Care (anticipated 72 hours)

    • Dual Diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Therapy (coming soon in 2024). This therapy model acts as a bridge from crisis to ongoing treatment. Clients participate for one to six weeks and receive a minimum of 9 hours of services each week.

What will psychiatric emergency care look like at the Youth Recovery Center?

  • Medication to treat serious psychiatric and withdrawal symptoms.

  • Client safety through observation by trained staff in a controlled environment.

  • Care coordination that ensures the client will have supports after emergency care, including medication and intensive therapy programs, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Intensive Outpatient Therapy.

celebrating a transformative gift and a legacy of leadership

We are thrilled to announce that our future facility will be named ‘The Judge Jean Shepherd Youth Recovery Center’, in honor of Judge Jean Shepherd, a distinguished leader dedicated to youth welfare. This exciting development is underscored by a transformative anonymous lead gift of $1.5 million, which celebrates Judge Shepherd's legacy.

The Judge Jean Shepherd Youth Recovery Center, once completed, will provide specialized behavioral health services to youth and families in crisis. It is envisioned as a state-of-the-art facility designed to deliver a comprehensive suite of services in a supportive and therapeutic environment, ensuring that every young individual and their family can access the care they need here at home.

We are grateful for our donors' generosity, which enables us to advance our mission and ensure that Judge Shepherd's profound impact on our community is celebrated and continued.

Bert Nash Center youth offer design feedback

Our summer youth groups offered feedback on the Youth Recovery Center room design, colors, and logos. We're grateful for their valuable feedback.

we need your support

To start making an immediate impact on the lives of children and youth, $12 million must be raised as soon as possible to renovate YRC. The time frame to achieve this funding is set at 24-36 months. We expect completion of the project in 2026.

Our strategy involves braiding funding from various sources, including state, local, & private philanthropic support, primary individuals and foundations.

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It’s important to note that all services planned for in this location have strong financial support through existing mechanisms and payors, inclusive of our Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) designation, making the upfront capital investment a sound return on investment.

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If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Emily Farley, Chief Advancement Officer.

Bert Nash Center

200 Maine St, Ste A

Lawrence, KS 66044

youth recovery center news

support from community partners

"Mental health crisis support and services for our young people is vitally important, especially when they're facing crisis situations that put their immediate health and well-being at risk. From all corners of our society, we are hearing of the need for improved crisis services for young people facing mental health and addiction hardships. We see this need reflected in media stories, data from our school districts and public health departments, feedback from our physicians and clinicians in the emergency room and primary care clinics, and the personal experiences of friends, family and acquaintances.

We are grateful to Bert Nash Center for their expanded programs and services that provide care for our young people in crisis.  The Youth Recovery Center will be an important component of the continuum of services we are developing in this community.  LMH Health is proud to collaborate with BNC in caring for our community’s physical, emotional, behavioral, preventative, chronic and crisis health conditions.  This will be another important aspect of that care."

"Healthy children make healthy families which will translate to a healthy community and state.  We are happy to endorse the work of the Youth Recovery Center.  I can't think of a more important endeavor than meeting the needs of children, youth, and families when they are in crisis, and we are happy to partner with Bert Nash in this important project."

Gina Meier-Hummel, LMSW
Executive Director
O’Connell Children’s Shelter
Russ Johnson
President & CEO
LMH Health
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thank you to our campaign committee

Ashley Bloom & Jay Warring

Jerree Catlin

Cathy Dinh

Jane Fevurly

Chris & Jalon Hutchens

Jon & Vicki Jamison

Shea & Ryan Kruse

Kiley Luckett

Jean Shepherd

Beth & Val Stella

Cindy Yulich

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