24/7 youth crisis center opens in east Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — Green Country families can now seek help for their children at Tulsa’s only 24/7 youth crisis evaluation center for children.

YES Tulsa sits in the Marina Plaza near East 21st Street and U.S. Highway 169. The facility has six beds for children ages 5 to 17.

If your child is dealing with anxiety, a panic attack or suicidal thoughts, you can walk in and a team of mental health professionals will assess your child and the best course of treatment. This includes at other facilities like the Calm Center which the facility works alongside.

A typical stay at YES Tulsa is about two hours, but can go up to 24 hours. A child’s caregiver has to stay with them while at the facility.

Staff said Wednesday the facility fills a gap between a traditional therapy appointment and residential care. Another goal is to reduce the load for this kind of help on local emergency rooms and law enforcement.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Amber McCarty checked out the center.

“We have Parkside, we have the Calm Center, but nothing quite like this, which is kind of like a psychological emergency room to assess the immediate needs and focus on those,” McCarty said.

Lorri Perez with Family and Children’s Services said YES Tulsa will be a useful tool for dealing with the jump in depression and anxiety in children due to the pandemic.

”It’s really scary to think about putting them in an inpatient facility and sometimes that isn’t what they need. They need a place like this,” said Perez. “It can be kind of the frontlines so that decisions can be made.”

YES Tulsa staff said the current location opened its doors as quickly as possible due to the tremendous need for this kind of help in the community. The plan is to operate out of the current location for about a year and half before moving to a permanent location near East 31st Street and South Sheridan Road near the Calm Center.

YES TULSA is state funded. Staff said services are free or low cost for families depending on their financial situation.





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