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Illuminate Projects

In June 2023, Children’s Mercy announced a comprehensive initiative to address the mental health needs of children and teens in the community. Over five years, 14 projects will be launched impacting more than 80,000 kids. Here is a list of the projects that have been implemented to-date:

The Depression and Anxiety in Youth (DAY) Clinic

To help address the mental health needs in the community, Children’s Mercy Kansas City launched the Depression and Anxiety in Youth (DAY) Clinic, the hospital’s first program dedicated to treating these conditions using cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness approaches to help stabilize patients and strengthen their coping skills.

Mental Wellness Campus

Children’s Mercy Kansas City announced they have formed a joint venture (JV) with Camber Mental Health, a national leader in delivering specialized mental and behavioral healthcare, to expand inpatient pediatric and adult mental health treatment capacity and access in the greater Kansas City area and across the region. The new JV will open a $53 million 72-bed mental health inpatient hospital in Olathe, Kan. Target for opening is late 2024.  


Primary Care Mental Health Integration Pilot 

Children’s Mercy Kansas City announced it has launched a pilot program to embed behavioral health clinicians in primary care practices to help facilitate early intervention and improve access to treatment. Three community-based primary care offices will participate in the pilot program - Children’s Mercy Pediatric Care Clinic on Broadway (Kansas City), Pediatric Partners (Overland Park) and Community Choice Pediatrics (Lee’s Summit). Each practice will have its own dedicated behavioral health clinician, which are hired, managed, trained and supervised by Children’s Mercy.  

Avoidance/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) Program 

Children’s Mercy Kansas City expanded its Eating Disorders Center services to streamline comprehensive care for Avoidance/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) – the only consolidated program in the region to offer medical treatment, nutrition services and therapy for ARFID.

First-of-its-Kind Behavioral Health Program Launched in School District

Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Center School District and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City launched a new pilot program to tackle the mental health crisis among school-aged children. This first-of-its-kind collaboration is designed to support the social and emotional needs of students by improving access to behavioral health services and education at school and at home.

Autism and Neurodevelopment Continuity Clinic

Children’s Mercy Kansas City has launched the Autism and Neurodevelopment Continuity Clinic (ANDCC) – a new pilot program to help support families and caregivers of children 3 years of age and younger who have recently received an Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis.

The ANDCC is designed to supplement - not replace - primary care visits and was created to offer autism-specific guidance for frequent health and behavior concerns, help families access and navigate different therapies, community resources and state disability support programs, and provide emotional support overall.