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Camber Children's Mental Health

Announcing our Newest Location: Camber Hays

Our mission is to enrich and enhance the lives of children, adults and families in Kansas and beyond. To advance that mission, we are thrilled to announce our newest location in Hays, Kansas, is expected to begin accepting patients by early February. This will allow us to serve over 600 more children each year and will extend access to residential services while expanding to include inpatient services.

camber hays

“Like much of the nation, we are at a crisis point here in Kansas regarding mental health,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “This hospital will provide the necessary resources and care for young Kansans facing mental health crises. I am impressed with the commitment shown by the leaders at KDADS and Camber to not only the youth in western Kansas but also the communities this center will impact.”

Support for the Camber Hays Project

None of this would be possible without the support of Governor Laura Kelly and the state of Kansas. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) partnered with us to bring about this new facility for Kansas youth.

We would also like to thank our generous donors for their help in bringing the Camber Hays project to life:

Supporters and officials at the ribbon cutting ceremony of Camber Children's Mental Health in Hays, Kansas, an inpatient psychiatric and residential treatment center for youth

Rep. Bill Clifford, KDADS Secretary Scott Brunner, KDADS Commissioner Andrew Brown, Rep. Jim Minnix, Rep. Barbara Wasinger, Gary Shorman of the Schmidt Foundation, Camber President Bobby Eklofe, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, KVC Health Systems President and CEO Jason Hooper, Doug Albin of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, Rebecca Swender from U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall’s, M.D.’s office, Hays City Commissioner Sandy Jacobs, and Sen. Rick Billinger.

For 30 years, Camber (previously KVC Hospitals) has provided a healing space for over 37,000 youth admissions through its network of children’s mental health hospitals and residential treatment facilities. We’re grateful to the State of Kansas and our generous donors for their partnership in allowing Camber to serve even more young people in the future.


Treatment Options at Camber Hays

The new Camber Hays facility will offer two treatment options to serve clients: residential and inpatient. “In addition to acute inpatient services, we will continue to provide residential services in the new location,” said Sarah Berens, Executive Director of Camber Hays. “We are excited our new building will allow for enhanced, state-of-the-art programming to increase our already robust services.”

camber hays

Lobby at Camber Hays

Regardless of the treatment method a child receives at Camber Hays, all clients will receive:

  • A full medical, clinical and nursing assessment
  • Psychiatric evaluation 
  • Medication management (if applicable)
  • Care coordination
  • Support and supervision from our trained nursing staff
  • Innovative treatment and education to teach youth about their mental health and how to regulate their emotions
  • Individual, family and group therapy sessions

There are differences between the residential and inpatient experience, largely dependent on whether the situation is an active emergency or not. The circumstances surrounding admission influence the goals and treatment at Camber Hays to provide methods that most effectively support the child.

Inpatient Care

camber hays

Unit at Camber Hays where youth receive mental health treatment.

When a youth enters inpatient hospitalization, the situation is considered an active emergency. Examples of this may include self-harm, plans to attempt suicide or the risk of harming someone else. Inpatient acute hospital treatment at Camber Hays is for youth ages 6 to 18 struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, the impacts of trauma and other mental health conditions that have reached an emergency state.

“With suicide rates and mental health struggles rising in Kansas, this service is imperative for Western Kansas,” Berens said. The goal of inpatient care is to stabilize the crisis before discharging the child to a lower level of care, such as our residential option. The average length of stay for inpatient treatment is four to seven days and includes 24/7 support and supervision from skilled nursing staff.

Residential Care

When a child is continuing to struggle with maintaining their symptoms after discharge and is not experiencing improvement with outpatient services, they may be admitted for residential treatment. The goal in this situation is to provide long-term intensive clinical services to aid clients in practicing skills for coping and emotional regulation.

“Our secure facility focuses on increased safety and cultivates an environment for physical and emotional wellbeing,” Berens said. “Our new location provides outdoor space for our clients to experience nature while having the ability to play and engage in mind/body connection activities.”

In addition to long-term treatment, clients attend our onsite school, Camber Academy, to continue their education while staying with us in this home-like environment. The education they receive is accredited for grades K-12 and allows children to receive credits, educational testing and IEP (Individualized Education Program) services throughout the duration of their treatment.

robert bobby eklofe“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our services in Hays and surrounding communities so we can further enhance the positive impact these services are making on the lives of children when they need it most,” said Camber Children’s Mental Health President Bobby Eklofe. “This new treatment facility is equipped with the latest technology and safety monitoring in a welcoming, child-focused space, allowing children to receive critical therapeutic treatment as soon as they need it in an atmosphere that promotes healing and wellness.”

Looking to Admit or Refer a Child?

If you are a parent or guardian to a young person ages 6 to 18 who needs intensive and expert care to achieve mental health wellness, or a healthcare or community partner seeking to refer a child for care, visit Admissions and Referrals to learn more and contact us online or call (913) 890-7468.

Our admissions team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions you may have. For inpatient hospitalization, a parent or guardian may call us directly to admit their child. If seeking residential treatment, admission begins with a referral from the child’s insurance company or community mental health center.

Guardian consent is required for all admission. Camber Hays accepts Kansas Medicaid plans and most private insurance plans.

We’re Hiring!

As we celebrate the grand opening of this beautiful new facility, we are actively hiring nurses, therapists, behavioral health technicians, maintenance and custodial staff and many more to join our team! If you are at least 20 years old and interested in joining the Camber Hays team, take a look at our Careers to learn more and submit your application.

Start a career in giving children hope. See openings.

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