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GHS expands mental health services

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Greenville Health System was recently approved to put in 19 additional psychiatric beds in the existing psychiatric unit at Marshall I. Pickens Hospital.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control approved a certificate of need allowing the addition to move forward. According to GHS, the addition cost $112,959 to furnish the new rooms. There was no construction associated with the addition. Marshal I. Pickens Hospital has 46 inpatient psychiatric beds and 22 beds for a children’s residential treatment program for a total of 68 beds. The addition would bring the number of beds at the hospital to 87.

“By adding these beds and increasing access to mental health services, we can reduce the need for costly emergency room visits and better address co-occurring conditions that often accompany behavioral health needs, such as compliance with care plans, sedentary lifestyles, smoking and other dependencies,” said Dr. Ken Rogers, medical director of behavioral health services and chairman of the department of psychiatry at GHS, in a news release.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 170,000 adults and 48,000 children “live with a serious mental illness” in South Carolina. Ken Dority, executive director of NAMI Greenville, said the state ranks 43rd in the nation in providing access to mental health services.

“We applaud DHEC for recognizing the need for more mental health services in our area and for approving beds for not only GHS but for Carolina Center for Behavioral Health and Springbrook Behavioral Health System as well,” Dority said, in the release.

According to SCDHEC documents, Carolina Center was authorized to add five psychiatric beds to bring its capacity to 109 at a cost of $21,733. Springbrook was approved to add one psychiatric bed and six substance abuse beds to bring its capacity to 38 psychiatric beds and 68 substance abuse beds at a cost of $15,000.

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