New state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital at Texas Medical Center will change lives, experts say

HOUSTON – The new University Psychiatric Hospital and the nearby UT Health Houston-Harris County Psychiatric Center have partnered to create the UT Health Houston Behavioral Sciences Campus, making it the largest university psychiatric hospital in the nation with 538 beds .

The new facility, which was funded by the Texas legislative session in 2017, will begin taking services to patients in March

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday.

Why is this installation necessary?

“This new, state-of-the-art facility is a much-needed investment in the community and it will have a lasting impact on our ability to provide care to the most vulnerable Texans living with serious mental illness,” Texas said. Cecile Erwin Young, Executive Commissioner of HHSC.

The facility accommodates multiple patient populations and treatment levels with access to medication management, group and individual therapy, and education and life skills training.

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While other private facilities exist in the community, this is a public facility that will allow more people to access intense therapy.

Studies show that it can help ease the burden on law enforcement.

How will it relieve the pressure on the prison system?

“We’ve had this demonstration in our previous projects where people with mental illness are much less likely to be impacted in the legal system,” said UTHealth Houston Behavioral Sciences Campus Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lokesh Shanani. “We will also provide skills restoration units in our building, which means that patients who are currently in prison because they are incompetent to start a trial, we can provide them with treatment so that they are competent to stand trial and kind. to go through the prison system. So definitely a big impact on our legal system.

Is there any proof that this can happen?

Results of two recently published small studies conducted by Alia Warner, Ph.D., assistant professor; and Scott Lane, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of research in the Faillace Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at McGovern Medical School at UT Health Houston, found that longer stays for some first or early psychosis patients in a stage-depressed stay resulted in lower hospital readmission rates and a lower likelihood of conviction for at least one crime after discharge.

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What makes it state-of-the-art?

Two interior courtyards provide access to the exterior with walking paths, rest areas and gardens. Wall-sized murals, which include photographs of landmarks and landscapes in Greater Houston and Texas, were commissioned specifically for the hospital. The cafeteria includes a wall of inspirational nutrition sayings.

Natural light from large windows, sound-absorbing materials and lighting have been designed to reduce stress.

Each unit also has a group room used for therapy sessions, art and music therapy, and recreation and relaxation. Rooms include blackboards as a creative outlet for patients.

On the fourth level, there is ample space for inpatient and outpatient services for people with treatment-resistant behavioral health conditions. It was designed with natural light and a mural depicting a Galveston scene.

One wing of the new building contains space for teaching and training new clinicians, including doctors, nurses, therapists and researchers.

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