Mental illness touches all walks of life, and everyone – regardless of financial or social status – deserves quality, compassionate care as they battle their disease. With the Jan. 13 opening of the expanded Behavioral Health Center at Touchette Regional Hospital, more area residents will have access to high-quality care in a welcoming and open environment.
A collaboration between Touchette and HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (SEB) in Belleville, Ill., the Behavioral Health Center serves clients with a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, mood disorders, and other mental illness. The new $10 million Center includes a 13,534-square-foot expansion which increases inpatient bed capacity from 12 to 30 beds.
Even more important, the Center’s open concept and client-centered recovery model are breaking down the stigma of mental health facilities as places only focused on confinement and isolation. Once stabilized, inpatient clients experience an increased level of socialization and engagement with fellow patients and healthcare providers alike through recreational therapy, support groups and activity therapy – all proven to enhance patient outcomes.
“By combining an open environment with an excellent clinical staff and evidence-based best practices, we’ve changed the dynamics of mental health treatment,” said Dr. Desarie Holmes, Director of the Behavioral Health Center. “Isolation is one of the most detrimental aspects to recovery. By building trust and engaging our clients, they become more comfortable and more focused on their recovery so that they reintegrate into life sooner with a stronger sense of self.”
She added, “We’re not just stabilizing a patient facing a crisis. We’re helping change their entire life moving forward.”
In addition, the new Center features home-like client rooms with natural light to ease the symptoms of depression, self-service refreshments and private phone areas to give clients a sense of autonomy, and enhanced security features to protect the safety of clients, staff and visitors.
The Center also treats patients on an outpatient basis through medication management, group therapy sessions, and individual and family therapy. They also offer an intensive outpatient program for adolescents ages 12 to 17 every afternoon where professional therapists work closely with clients, schools and other healthcare providers to develop a comprehensive treatment plan individually tailored to each teen’s mental health needs.
Touchette estimates it will serve more than 2,000 patients in 2016 on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. The Behavioral Health Center accepts most insurances, including Medicaid and Medicare.
“Touchette has long been an excellent provider of key behavioral health services in the Metro East,” said Shelley Harris, Chief Nursing Officer at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. “We believe this Behavioral Health Center will set a new standard for quality care and community health partnerships to serve the critical mental health needs of our region.”