Kern Lab

New services for children with mental health disorders announced

“The Kern Lab is now open!”

And with that, an invitation from Psychiatrist Robert Freedman, MD, to children with mental health disorders and their families to receive services at the Jerome H. Kern Laboratories.  The labs also provide care and services to families willing to participate in studies that are helping us better understand mental illness in children.

Families like Mackenzie O’Shea’s.   O’Shea will soon welcome her fourth child.  She’s watched her first child struggle with mental illness and is participating in a study that is looking at trying to prevent mental disorders before babies are born.

“You never want to see anyone’s baby go through this sort of illness.” said O’Shea. She and hundreds of families participate in studies and receive services provided by the University of Colorado Denver’s Developmental Research Group in the Department of Psychiatry.

The Developmental Research Group and the Kern Labs are part of the Institute for Children’s Mental Health Disorders established in 1999 to support mental illness research. At a dedication ceremony on Friday, Freedman along with Kerns and other supporters gathered to celebrate today’s dedication of the new laboratories. Randy Ross, MD, explained that the patients and their families in the research projects provide enormous help as medical teams gain understanding of the underlying problems of the disease as well as a better understanding of brain development.

The philanthropist behind the project, Jerome H. Kern, spoke of the progress and hope celebrated this day.

“It is exciting to believe that we might be onto something that can actually stop mental illnesses before they develop,” said Kern.

Freedman also announced that the Kern Labs will be available to provide children’s mental health services to those families not necessarily in a study. The labs will offer diagnostic and guidance services to any family.

That news was celebrated by Colorado’s First Lady Jeannie Ritter who was among those at the dedication.

“You are onto something for thesefamilies that comes long before prevention and that is hope,” said Mrs. Ritter.

For more information on the Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders call 303.724.4966. or visit


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