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Johnson ‘proud’ to see partnership working to bring state psychiatric hospital to Metroplex

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Plans are in the works for a new state psychiatric hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as part of a partnership between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) was happy to see a new effort to bring mental health services to the area.

“Bringing quality and affordable mental health services to North Texas is more necessary now than ever before,” Johnson wrote in a tweet. “Proud to see @UTSWNews partner with the state to make these services more accessible for those in need.”

According to a release on the HHSC website, legislators have approved nearly $45 million for the joint project.

“There’s a critical need for additional inpatient mental health services in the Dallas area and we’re excited to be working with UT Southwestern on this project to design a state-of-the-art hospital that meets the mental health care needs of the community,” Cecile Erwin, HHS executive commissioner, said in a statement for the news release. “A new hospital will have a major impact on our ability to provide care to the most vulnerable Texans living in the surrounding Metroplex.”

Dr. Daniel Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, called the commitment to building the first state psychiatric facility in the area a “critical step” in addressing the growing need for these types of services.

“We look forward to working with the region’s stakeholders and leveraging the state’s investment in order to increase the availability of mental health care, to advance the research needed to develop the next generation of treatments and expand the mental health workforce,” Podolsky said in the release.

According to the HHSC, the new state hospital would address needs listed in a 2017 report and would join the current 10-facility state hospital network.

Becker’s Hospital Review reported the facility would primarily treat adults and patients in the justice system.

It’s still unknown how much the project will cost and how long it will take to complete.

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