A new psychiatric center is coming to downtown Tulsa and will double the capacity for in-patient beds from 56 to 106.
Two local sheriffs testified at the state capitol this week about the challenges law enforcement faces when they are dealing with people with mental health issues. They hope this new facility will help relieve some of that burden.
Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado and Haskell County Sheriff Tim Turner spoke to legislators Monday as part of a mental health study. They said the largest mental health facility in any county right now are the county jails and jails are not set up for that. They said jails can begin treatment, once people are released, there's no facility for long-term treatment. They said mental health care needs to be out of the hands of law enforcement and back into the hands of professionals. Dr. Sara Coffey with OSU Medical Center said the need for a psychiatric facility in Tulsa County is great right now, especially when it comes to kids. "But with COVID it's really highlighted the need for more individualized and supportive care for kids. And this includes out-patient to in-patient. We're really struggling to meet the needs of really acute kids that we serve," said Dr. Coffey.
She said she's seeing more patients with depression and anxiety and hopes adding 50 more beds to the in-patient facility will help treat people in need. "We need to ensure that those that need help are able to receive it. I think the big thing is that to also make sure that it's quality help. That it's leading to meaningful outcomes and I don't want to lose sight of that goal as well," said Dr. Coffey.
Construction on the new facility is set to start in the next three to four months. The facilities are expected to open by early 2024.