Passavant Area Hospital’s new Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) opened its doors earlier today. The 10-bed inpatient unit will provide treatment for adult patients with acute behavioral health symptoms requiring hospitalization and stabilization.
Pravesh Basnet, MD, is the medical director of the BHU and says the unit fills a large void in psychiatric services in the community. “Local patients must travel far for inpatient psychiatric services. Patients in our Emergency Department have waited days until a psychiatric bed became available. With the opening of our BHU, that problem is solved. Patients no longer have to be transferred which has enormous social, financial, and emotional ramifications,” he said.
“The BHU itself is state-of-the-art, with the latest safety measures. All patient rooms are private, and we’re excited that we are going to use aroma therapy, recreational therapy, occupational therapy, and psychotherapy to help our patients and not depend solely on medications,” said Dr. Basnet.
Adults 18 and older with acute psychiatric illness can be evaluated for admission to the unit. Admission is by referral from one of the staff psychiatrists from The Center for Psychiatric Health.
“There are people who are very depressed, even to the point of contemplating or attempting suicide. We will be able to help them. People with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, dementia with agitation, and many more conditions can be treated in the BHU,” Dr. Basnet said.
Registered nurses and behavioral health technicians will provide care in the BHU. Barb Smith, RN, is the BHU nurse manager. “I’m excited that Passavant has identified mental health as a priority. Our new BHU will give the community access to services where it’s been lacking. And, it’s phenomenal to have three psychiatrists to be part of our team,” said Barb.
Passavant Area Hospital is a Memorial Health System Affiliate.