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News and Community Events

News and Community Events

Community Events

Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma (seven-part series)
Sponsored by Laurel Heights Hospital and Peach State Health Plan

Save these Tuesday evening dates:
6/20 • 6/27 • 7/11 • 7/18 • 7/25 • 8/1 • 8/8

Learning about trauma-informed care can be one of the most important skills one can acquire as a professional, a peer, a parent or a friend. This workshop is divided into seven parts, covering eight modules, and meets Tuesdays June 20 through August 8 (no session on July 4), from 7:30 to 9 pm, on Zoom

Learning Objectives:

  • Define and list the warning signs of compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress.
  • Identify specific self-care techniques that can help prevent compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress.
  • Describe at least three coping strategies you can use when a child’s trauma is a reminder of your own past trauma

A final session, Preventing Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress, will be held Tuesday, August 15, from 7:30 to 9 pm.

To receive a Zoom link and ID, email [email protected]. Please call
Sonya Rice, Laurel Heights Community Relations Director, at 478-297-1137 with any questions.

Download Event Brochure ›


Laurel Heights Academy Students Donate Blessing Bags for Homeless at Atlanta Traffic Lights

Atlanta, GA – December 12, 2022 – Laurel Heights Academy, a private school within Lauren Heights Hospital, recently announced the donation of Blessing Bags for the homeless.

Marya Marcum-Jones, Director of Education, said, “Our Student Council wanted to give back to others this holiday season. They packed “Blessing Bags” with crackers, fruit bars, band-aids, hand-warmers, Chap Stick, socks and disposable wipes for staff to keep in their cars to give to those less fortunate making a request near traffic lights across the city.”

Alexandra Evraets, Student Council Advisor, said creating Blessing Bags gave students a therapeutic opportunity put their own struggles in perspective. “Many of our students have been in tough situations emotionally and physically and helping others provides insight for them to be thankful for what they have and to be a blessing to others.”

The Student Council at Laurel Heights Academy has two representatives from each of five psychiatric residential programs at Laurel Heights Hospital with students ranging in ages of six to 17 years old. In November, the Student Council sponsored a “Thankfulness Cornucopia” and a Fall Art contest.

About Laurel Heights Academy

Laurel Heights Academy is a private school within Laurel Heights Hospital, a private child and adolescent behavioral health facility located in Atlanta, Georgia. Laurel Heights Hospital’s residential programs are accredited by The Joint Commission. Our mission is to provide the highest quality psychiatric and behavioral care to meet the needs of the children and families we serve. Our treatment programs are tailored to children and adolescents with complex psychiatric and behavioral problems. The facility offers several residential treatment units separated by age and gender, a separate residential program for children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and a specialty acute inpatient unit for children in psychiatric crisis with co-occurring neurodevelopmental disabilities. We also offer general psychiatric acute care for children ages 6 – 17. Learn more: https://laurelheightshospital.com/

Media Contact:
Sonya Rice
[email protected]

Laurel Heights Hospital Recognized for Reducing Wait Times for Children and Adolescents Needing Inpatient Behavioral Health Care

Laurel Heights Hospital is recognized by XFERALL, a national patient transfer network, for achieving the fastest response time to patient transfer requests from acute hospital emergency department staff for children and adolescents needing inpatient behavioral health treatment.

Laurel Heights Hospital’s admissions team responded, on average, within 34 minutes 35 seconds to accept patients for transfer to their facility from other hospitals for the first quarter of 2021 – 70 percent faster than all other hospitals on the XFERALL network. Laurel Heights joined the XFERALL network in March 2020.

The achievement means that children and adolescents experiencing a psychiatric crisis in the Atlanta region are waiting less time in area hospital emergency departments and are getting the care they need more quickly. Combining efficient intake operations with innovative technology has positioned Laurel Heights as a leader for pediatric behavioral health care.

“Hospital emergency departments are not a therapeutic environment for any child or adolescent experiencing severe emotional or behavioral symptoms,” said Patrick McDaniel, CEO, Laurel Heights Hospital. “Our admissions team, led by Molly Murphy, is committed to making sure that children do not wait any longer than absolutely necessary for behavioral health treatment, and I’m delighted that XFERALL is recognizing them for this outstanding achievement.”

XFERALL is a national patient transfer network and mobile application that facilitates transfer of patients in psychiatric crisis to appropriate care settings. With XFERALL, hospital ED staff can post a need for patient transfer to a network of possible receiving facilities and within minutes receive confirmation from receiving hospitals of bed availability. The app allows clinicians to upload clinical documentation one time and eliminates the need to call facilities one-by-one to find an available bed.

“XFERALL applauds the admission team at Laurel Heights for its commitment to ensuring that children and adolescents across the Atlanta region get the behavioral health care they need quickly,” said Nathan Read, CEO, XFERALL. “We know that when patients, no matter their age, have to wait in hospital emergency departments that quality of care and outcomes are worse and the risk is greater that patients will leave the ED without being seen by a provider.”

Nationally, hospital emergency department wait times for children and adolescents needing behavioral health treatment are getting longer. Over the course of the decade between 2005 and 2015, the number of children’s ED mental health visits lasting more than 6 hours increased from 16.3 percent to 24.6 percent, according to an April 2021 study published in Pediatrics. The proportion of mental health ED visits lasting more than 12 hours increased from 5.3 percent to 12.7 percent.

Since 2019, XFERALL has expedited the transfer of thousands of children and adolescents experiencing a behavioral health crisis to clinically appropriate inpatient treatment. Placement time for all children and adolescents on the network across the country for the first quarter of 2021 was 01:53:27. The national average is more than 8 hours. Overall, XFERALL has reduced the time from initial request for transfer to inpatient acceptance by 86 percent for all behavioral health patients on the network.


Based in Austin, TX, XFERALL helps hospitals, law enforcement, mobile behavioral health crisis teams, and community mental health agencies improve patient transfers through the healthcare system to access clinically appropriate care. The XFERALL mobile application and web-based platform coordinates outbound patient transfer requests to improve access, timeliness, and quality of care for patients with acute physical conditions and for patients with behavioral health conditions. More information at XFERALL.com.

At Laurel Heights Hospital, we believe in supporting the communities we serve. Our presence and participation at local community-oriented events help spread awareness of important behavioral health-related issues and garners community support for our endeavors. Please join us.

We’re Here to Help

Laurel Heights Hospital’s professional staff are ready to help find the best treatment options for your child. Call 404-888-5475 for a no-cost, confidential assessment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need immediate medical assistance, contact 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.