PROVIDENCE R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Children’s Museum is launching a new “play-based therapy” program that will reportedly help kids “explore their feelings” and improve mental health.

The museum said it will partner with local organizations to provide greater access to mental health resources and workshops for children and families, including those who are living in the foster care system, struggling with grief or living apart from incarcerated parents.

The program is backed by $150,000 in federal funding secured by Sen. Jack Reed, who visited the museum Wednesday to discuss the program.

Reed said emergency visits to hospitals for children with mental health issues have gone up from nearly 6% to 30%.

“We don’t have the staff or facilities unless we collaborate and cooperate to deal with this problem,” Reed said.

The program has been in the works since several local pediatric organizations declared a state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health due to the pandemic.

“This is a trusted and beloved institution by all of us,” Reed said. “It is decided to be a key partner with the community in addressing critical issues, with mental health being one of these issues.”