Marshall I. Pickens Hospital will add 19 psychiatric beds to its 46-bed hospital, after receiving a green light from state officials.
Part of the Greenville Health System (GHS), Marshall I. Pickens Hospital is an inpatient behavioral health facility, which provides psychiatric disorder diagnosis and treatment for children, adolescents, and adults. The health system had submitted a state Certificate of Need (CON) application for the 19-bed expansion, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced its approval this week.
GHS earlier had announced a new joint venture with Acadia Healthcare to build an 80,000-square-foot, $64 million, 120-bed hospital on GHS’ main campus. The new facility will provide inpatient behavioral health services and will replace Marshall I. Pickens Hospital when it opens in March 2018.
GHS officials say that adding inpatient beds is an important element of the health system’s plans to enhance and expand mental health services in the Upstate. GHS also has a psychiatry medical education program, community education and engagement programs, and partnerships to expand crisis, ambulatory, and acute care mental health services.
For example, GHS is one of the sponsors of the second annual Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health, which is scheduled for May 12 and 13, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville. Other sponsors include NAMI Greenville, FAVOR Greenville, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, and Carolina Center for Behavioral Health. The event will focus on ending the stigma associated with mental illness through research, education and practice. More than 350 clinicians, researchers, advocates and community members from across the Southeast attended last year’s symposium.
“By adding these beds and increasing access to mental health services, we can reduce the need for costly emergency room visits and better address co-occurring conditions that often accompany behavioral health needs, such as compliance with care plans, sedentary lifestyles, smoking and other dependencies,” Dr. Ken Rogers, medical director of behavioral health services and chair of the department of psychiatry at GHS, said in a news statement.
One in four adults experiences mental illness in any given year, and one in 17 people live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
In South Carolina, nearly 170,000 adults and 48,000 children live with a serious mental illness.
“Mental illness is a major public health issue, and our state ranks 43rd in the nation when it comes to access to the important services that can help our citizens live their best lives,” said Ken Dority, executive director of NAMI Greenville, in a news statement. “We applaud DHEC for recognizing the need for more mental health services in our area and approving beds for not only GHS but for Carolina Center for Behavioral Health and SpringBrook Behavioral Health System as well.”