Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Prince George’s County, Alsobrooks unveil mental health care facility

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Prince George’s County officers celebrated the opening Tuesday of a brand new behavioral well being facility, a venture partly funded by means of federal and state grants to assist tackle the county’s long-standing shortage of psychological and behavioral well being care.

The $7.6 million venture, at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Middle in Clinton, consists of 22 inpatient beds, in addition to outpatient and partial-hospitalization sources. The brand new facility is anticipated to start accepting sufferers later this month.

“Right now is yet one more step in our journey to supply entry to the excellent well being care that our residents deserve,” Prince George’s County Government Angela D. Also­brooks (D) stated at a information convention Tuesday. “And at present continues, as nicely, our elevated concentrate on behavioral well being care, a necessity that has gone lengthy underserved on this group.”

The county, house to simply below 1 million residents, has solely two different acute-care items for inpatient behavioral well being remedy, leaving greater than half of grownup sufferers in 2019 to show to hospitals exterior the county, Alsobrooks stated. Behavioral well being was recognized as a number one well being precedence in a community-needs assessment that yr, which discovered that the county had fewer psychological well being suppliers per capita than its neighbors. Prince George’s, a majority-Black suburb, additionally has fewer physicians and hospital beds per capita, in line with state data.

Prince George’s mental health facility being built with funds shifted from police training building

“Our residents should have their dignity preserved, they usually should be handled in an setting that promotes and encourages true therapeutic and wellness,” Alsobrooks stated. “Right now’s grant solely will get us nearer to that objective.”

The brand new facility is a part of Alsobrooks’s vow to dedicate sources to psychological well being. Final yr, she redirected $20 million to construct a behavioral well being middle in Lanham with funds initially supposed for a brand new police coaching facility. That call was a part of the county’s response to the homicide of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in Might 2020 and got here throughout nationwide requires racial and social justice.

The Lanham facility, at Medical doctors Group Medical Middle, is scheduled to open outpatient companies in July. A 16-bed inpatient unit will open in December.

Alsobrooks, who served because the county’s high prosecutor from 2010 till 2018, stated her emphasis on psychological well being has additionally been fueled by the staggering quantity of people that enter the legal justice system and wish behavioral well being sources. She stated 70 p.c of individuals arrested in Prince George’s are intoxicated after they arrive to jail and that a couple of third of jail inmates dropped at the detention middle are on psychotropic medicine.

Pr. George’s officials say long-awaited transformation is coming

“We will see the steep worth that communities like ours pay for lack of entry to well being care,” Alsobrooks stated.

The Clinton facility shall be accomplished in two phases, the primary of which is anticipated to open to sufferers this month. It options enhanced safety and security measures for sufferers and workers, reminiscent of digital alarms, video techniques, a devoted house for administrative hearings and a drugs window.

U.S. Home Majority Chief Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), whose district consists of a part of Prince George’s, helped safe $925,000 in federal funding for the venture. One other $840,000 got here from a grant from the Maryland Hospital Affiliation’s bond venture.

“Behavioral well being has been late to the eye of the American individuals, not withstanding the fee that it has added to the American individuals for such a protracted time frame,” Hoyer stated on the Tuesday information convention. “Behavioral well being is so crucial to bodily, and maybe vice versa.”

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