By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — A more than 100,000-square-foot mental health hospital will fill the now vacant land on Rotunda Drive just west of the Southfield Freeway in Dearborn come 2021.
Leaders from Beaumont Health and Universal Health Services broke ground on the $40 million project during a Dec. 16 ceremony on the eight-acre site.
Construction on the 150-bed mental health hospital will begin in early 2020 and double Beaumont Health’s current capacity for inpatient mental health care, according to a press release.
Features of the new facility include: multidisciplinary teams including psychiatrists, internal medicine physicians, other specialists, certified clinical pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, therapists and other clinical support staff; an integrated assessment and referral center to support the community and Beaumont Health Emergency Centers; and substance use disorder treatment for those who are also receiving care for a mental health diagnosis.
“This is a very important day for Beaumont Health and more importantly for the patients and the families we serve,” Beaumont Health President and CEO John Fox said. “Today with UHS, we will proudly break ground on a facility that will enhance and expand mental healthcare services throughout our community. Together with UHS we will address the growing need and demand for specialized mental healthcare services, subspecialty capabilities — pediatrics adolescent and other areas that we have not been able to address as much as we would’ve liked in the past.”
Upon completion, UHS will oversee much of the day-to-day operations, but Beaumont will be clinically engaged with them each step of the way, Fox added. UHS operates more than 200 behavioral health hospitals serving more than 600,000 patients annually across the country
UHS Divisional Vice President Diane Henneman said the best and latest practices were used to create treatment settings that are therapeutic and comfortable while also ensuring the safety of patients and care providers.
“This new facility will address the growing and currently unmet mental health and substance use needs facing our community,” she said. “Studies have shown that access to a continuum of behavioral health treatment and strong community support are key to fostering a system of hope that can lead to recovery. Our partners at Beaumont Health have been vocal and passionate advocates for better mental healthcare and I could not be more pleased we are collaborating with this organization.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in five Americans, or 43.8 million adults, has a mental health condition. Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates in Michigan increased 32.9 percent. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the state.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) shared several personal stories and examples of people who needed mental healthcare services but were unable to receive treatment due to the lack of facilities or beds in hospitals during her speech.
“So, today Beaumont and UHS — you’re stepping up to a problem that is a national problem, a Michigan problem and southeast Michigan problem,” she said. “You are helping start to solve the problem. It’s a step. We all have to take the stigma off of this, we need to recognize it’s a crisis in our communities and our country but I thank you for doing what you are doing today because you’re going to have many people’s lives and help give people a quality of life.”
Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said the mental healthcare and hospital are very critical and important to the community.
“This is something that everyone agreed universally is something that has to happen,” he said. “We have to get it done and this is going to happen because of this.
“Our police and fire are here — I wanted them here because of all the people who could really talk about what’s going on, what we need and how desperate it is. They’re the ones who see it first-hand day after day as they do their jobs and try to prevent from dying, young people from dying.
“We have some tools but they’re not enough and when they walk away even after they’re saved that doesn’t mean that they’ve learned their lesson.”
Beaumont Health plans to transition its current inpatient mental health services to this location, with expanded programs that serve adult, pediatric, adolescent and geriatric patients, the press release read.
“Beaumont Health and UHS also plan to implement a comprehensive telemedicine program to support its nine emergency rooms and other patient care settings across the system,” the release read. “This technology will offer faster, remote access to health care providers and services.”
For more information on Beaumont go to www.beaumonthealth.org, and for information on UHS go to www.uhsinc.com.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])