A groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the start of construction for a new psychiatric hospital in Dallas. The facility is part of the state’s plan to create beds for psychiatric inpatients, a press release shared. The Texas Behavioral Health Center at UT Southwestern is being designed and constructed through a partnership with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The groundbreaking was hosted by UT Southwestern, HHSC, and Children’s Health, according to the press release. Construction on the new facility is expected to be completed by 2025.
Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, the president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, said the psychiatric hospital will meet an important need in the region.
“UT Southwestern is pleased to partner with HHSC and the State of Texas to address important unmet needs in our region and state for inpatient treatment as part of the continuum of care for those suffering from serious mental illness,” Podolsky shared in the press release. “UT Southwestern physicians and other caregivers will bring to this new hospital our commitment to provide the very best care possible today for patients. This new hospital also provides opportunities to develop innovative models of behavioral health care, train a holistic behavioral health care workforce, and advance research that can lead to more effective treatment and prevention.”
Texas is rebuilding its psychiatric system, according to HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young, and the new Dallas facility is part of that investment.
“Texas is making an unprecedented investment in helping people with serious mental illness,” Young said. “Throughout the state we are expanding, renovating and rebuilding our state psychiatric hospital system from the ground up. When complete, this much-needed hospital will offer hope, healing and recovery for the most vulnerable Texans living in the surrounding Metroplex.”
The Texas Legislature and Governor Greg Abbott approved $282.5 million for constructing and designing the facility. Children’s Health donated an additional $200 million to create a pediatric wing, according to the press release. It will be exclusively for adolescent and children patients.
There will be 296 beds in the psychiatric hospital. Two hundred of those are for adults, with up to 96 being for pediatric patients.
State Representative Toni Rose (D-District 110) called the facility an overdue addition to North Texas.
“The new Texas Behavioral Health Center at UT Southwestern is an exciting and long overdue addition to our region’s ability to address mental health challenges,” Rose said in the press release. “The full range of patient services offered by the new hospital combined with UT Southwestern’s world-class research truly marks a new day for mental healthcare in North Texas.”
Abbott and the Texas Legislature have put over $1.2 billion toward state hospitals since 2017. Funds have been used for expanding, renovating, and replacing hospitals in the cities of Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Rusk, and Kerrville.
Altogether, these construction projects will add around 670 inpatient psychiatric beds to the state over the next four years, according to the press release. Earlier this year, construction on the John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center in Houston was completed.