The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Children's Psychiatric Hospital

The Children's Psychiatric Hospital was completed in December, 1955. Swanson Associates, of Bloomfield Hills, were the architects, and Jeffress-Dyer, Inc., of Washington, D. C., were awarded the contract in the amount of $2,151,804. Construction was begun in the spring of 1954.

The new hospital will ultimately be a part of a total children's medical center with a planned 291-bed capacity. Built to harmonize with the Outpatient Clinic and the Kresge Medical Research Building, the Children's Psychiatric Hospital accommodates seventy-five children ranging in age from six to fifteen years.

There are four wards, three for sixteen children each, and a convalescent ward of twenty-seven beds. Each of the four units is independent in terms of the living plan for the children, and each ward has its own nursing and auxiliary staffs, dining room, and play rooms.

All walls in the living quarters are tiled, floors are of Gibraltar, and windows are louvre type with inside screens. Through careful use of colors, drapes, and other decorations, as warm as possible a tone has been provided.

All wards have three types of accommodations, four-bed dormitories, two-bed dormitories, and some single rooms. In addition, two detention rooms are provided in each ward to handle acute outbursts and allow for brief isolation when necessary.

Special features in each ward include a large playroom for active games, a smaller playroom for quiet games and music, a snack bar for evening use, and a group therapy room for special evening Page  1653projects. Special planning has gone into dining room construction and service. Children eat at tables planned for five children and one adult. Service is family style from platters on the tables when children sit down to eat. This allows for some degree of self-selection which is important to children. In the past it was found that when an unwished for food was presented, it was more throwable than eatable and mealtimes could be hectic.

The Children's Psychiatric Hospital has been designed around a total program that includes all aspects of special care which have been found to have therapeutic value. Because severely disturbed children may dislike school as a result of experiences in community schools, the hospital is geared to provide specially planned schooling in small groups. Six remedial reading rooms in the school area are provided to help overcome reading disabilities, common in disturbed children. One floor is devoted to classrooms and shops. There are five of each.

To take care of recreational needs there is a fully equipped gymnasium and a swimming pool. There is also a 100-seat auditorium equipped for movies, plays, and other entertainment in which the children themselves participate.

Other recreation facilities include a large playground with facilities for baseball, volley ball, slides, swings, sand piles, a wading pool, and other resources.

Each child in the hospital has a minimum of three hours a week with a psychiatrist in training.

Direct psychotherapy is practiced off the ward, away from the living area. Each child sees his doctor by regular appointment in the doctor's office — he is in effect attending a clinic separate from his home within the hospital.