Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center Opens New Sensory Room, Providing Vulnerable Clients with Innovative, Client-Centered Care

Gateways Sensory Room

The future of mental health care at Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center includes a new Sensory Room, funded by a $45,000 grant from the Robert Ellis Simon Foundation. Designed for individual needs, it combines immersive sensory experiences and meaningful activities to empower healing and emotional regulation.

Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center unveiled its groundbreaking Sensory Room, a pioneering addition to acute patient care in Los Angeles, generously funded by a $45,000 grant from the Robert Ellis Simon Foundation. This innovative space signifies Gateways’ commitment to implementing client-centered approaches, blending the latest inpatient psychiatric care practices with immersive sensory interventions, meaningful activities, and fostering connections between clients and caregivers.

Sensory rooms offer a multisensory experience tailored to individual needs, granting clients greater control over their environment. Gateways’ sensory room, available for adolescent and adult inpatients under the supervision of trained mental healthcare providers, aims to enhance emotional regulation skills and coping mechanisms, as highlighted in Advances in Mental Health, Volume 12.

Colleen Carroll, Occupational Therapy Director at Gateways Mental Health Center and Hospital, expressed enthusiasm about the sensory room’s impact, stating, “Gateways prioritizes resources that prioritize our clients’ well-being. The sensory room’s innovative approach provides an engaging, safe space for clients to regulate their emotions, fostering self-esteem, self-management, and self-determination, as evidenced by numerous peer-reviewed studies.”

Guided by Gateways’ mental health professionals, clients can customize their sensory experiences by adjusting lighting, sound, and tactile elements, granting them autonomy over their care. Research published in Australian Psychiatry: Bulletin of the Royal Australian College of Psychiatrists indicates that such autonomy reduces anxiety, distress, and agitation among clients.

The Robert Ellis Simon Foundation’s generous donation made Gateways’ Sensory Room possible, underscoring their commitment to supporting client-centered mental health initiatives for vulnerable communities in Los Angeles County. Edina Lekovic, Executive Director of the Foundation, emphasized their dedication to bringing mental health resources closer to residents and applauded Gateways’ efforts to enhance accessibility and tailored care.

Dr. Phil Wong, Gateways Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, highlighted the importance of personalized care in challenging traditional perceptions of acute mental health treatment. “This grant empowers us to redefine acute mental health care by providing a safe, engaging experience for our clients,” said Dr. Wong. “Gateways’ Sensory Room sets a new standard for patient-centered care, aligning with our mission to empower individuals in their mental health journey.”

About Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center: Since 1953, Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center has been a leading non-profit organization in Echo Park, serving the Greater Los Angeles area. Specializing in comprehensive mental and behavioral health services for adolescents, transitional-aged youth, and adults, Gateways is committed to providing innovative, client-centered care. For more information, visit or call (323) 644-2000.

Media Contact:
Sydney Kovach


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