Carilion Child and Adolescent Psychiatry providers hold holiday toy drive for adolescent psych patients

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 10:59 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - One local hospital system is asking for your help to make Christmas special this year.

Carilion Child and Adolescent Psychiatry providers are asking for clothing and toy donations for adolescent and teen psych patients. They are asking for puzzles, board and card games, books, fidget items, wireless headphones and radios, clothing, and other stimulating items that will help older children and teens during their stay in the unit and serve as a holiday gift.

“To wake up in a hospital on Christmas morning is hard enough,” begins Lisa Dishner, RN, senior director of Nursing for the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine. To be separated from your family complicates that further. The ask that we have for the toys and items for the unit really allows our staff member to step in and ensure that they have the holiday that they would have outside of the hospital.”

Organizers of this event say they are looking for items for children ages 9 to 17, so a wide range of donations is appropriate. Officials on the unit say they are in particular need of gifts and items for teenage patients.

Items like stress balls and fidget toys are tools hospital officials say they can use as coping devices for the patients while on the unit and in outpatient care. They add music is also a strong tool to help children with anxiety.

The hospital also has Nintendo DS consoles it uses for positive reinforcement for children, so videogames are also accepted.

Donations can be dropped off through Christmas Eve in the lobby of 2017 S. Jefferson St. weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If you are unable to make it to the drop off location, email LMDishner@carilionclinic.org to make alternative arrangements.

A full news release can be found here.

Carilion Child and Adolescent Psychiatry unit treats about 500 children each year.

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