Children with pre-existing mental health conditions are especially vulnerable to stressors like isolation exacerbated from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To help address this, BryLin Behavioral Health Care changed how they deliver services to both children in the community and in their hospital’s inpatient unit. 

The hospital started an outpatient telehealth service and video conferencing to offer support to the children and families, said Anthony Szarzanowicz, the vice president of patient care services at BryLin. 

“I think that sometimes innovation is born out of crisis,” he said. "Approximately three weeks ago, we started moving in that direction to utilize telehealth as a technology of today to keep in contact and keep that connection with not only our service recipients but also families.” 

BryLin is currently serving 10 children at the hospital's in-unit facility but had to stop visitation from families because of the pandemic. 

For their in-patient children, who are already being stabilized during a personal crisis, BryLin started video conferencing to combat any isolation the children may feel. 

“Very few hospitals that are also hospital systems are using digital visits,” Szarzanowicz said. "We have children who are on the inpatient side who want to see certainly their parents.”

The private hospital is one of only a handful that offers in-patient mental health services for children and their families in Western New York.  

“We all are feeling the pressures around the pandemic that's going on,” Szarzanowicz said. “We started thinking of innovative ways to still keep in contact with and to really provide therapy.” 

Their outpatient hotline is accessible to Spanish speakers as well. 

BryLin currently does accept new patients for both its outpatient and inpatient services but asks that you call first so they can ensure that you receive the right level of care. 

To find mental health services for children at BryLin, call 716-632-5450 or visit their website.  

For more of our coverage on mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic click on the links below: