This is great news for families in the Stateline. Until now, children would have to go to Chicago or even out of state, to get the help they needed.

I can't think of the last time I was this excited for children living in Rockford. On Wednesday (8/5/20), the Winnebago County Mental Health Board announced big changes coming to SwedishAmerican Hospital and more importantly for the lives of children in the Stateline struggling with their mental health.

Before Wednesday, if a child needed to be hospitalized for mental health reasons, that child and their family would have been shipped off to Chicago, or possibly even in another state. Can you imagine having to uproot everything to get your child the mental health care they so desperately needed? Not to mention the likelihood of not having the means to get your child that care, so far away from home.

While in-patient care for adolescents (between the ages of 12-18) already exists, there's nothing for children under 12.

Dr. Bill Gorski, the former CEO of SwedishAmerican says the ultimate plan is for a 16-bed child and adolescent unit, with construction beginning around Labor Day. Construction will take one and a half to two years, according to WREX.com.