The ground-breaking ceremony for Beaumont Health's new mental health hospital took place Monday. The hospital will be located on eight acres of vacant land across from Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn.
Construction is expected to start in early 2020 on the 150-bed facility. Its opening is anticipated in the middle of 2021. The project will double the number of Beaumont's in-patient mental health beds.
According to a Beaumont Health press release, the project is being undertaken as part of a joint venture with United Health Services which operates more than 200 behavioral health hospitals across the United States. UHS will be the majority owner of the joint venture and will oversee the operations and management of the new mental health facilty.
The goal of the project is to help address Michigan's growing, unmet need for mental health and addiction services.
John Fox, CEO of Beaumont Health, said there is a shortage of in-patient psychiatric beds in Michigan.
"One way we see the need is by having nine ERs constantly trying to place patients, who are in an acute phase, with a mental health facility in the area and not being able to get access," said Fox.
Fox said Beaumont's new hospital will have dedicated units for pediatrics, adolescents and adults.
He said Beaumont Health will coordinate continuity of care between inpatient and outpatient mental health services - including substance abuse.
And he said Beaumont Health has added academic training programs in psychiatry and psychopharmacology to address shortages in these fields.
"This investment is definitely addressing a very important need in Michigan," said Corey Rhyan, senior analyst with Altarum, a non-profit health care consulting group.
Ryan co-authored a recent study by Altarum on access to behavioral health care in Michigan.
The study found that most Michiganders with substance abuse disorders go untreated, and more than one-third of Michigan residents with mental illness do not receive treatment.