Proposed 200-bed mental health hospital for Dayton area badly needed, area officials say

Dayton had an inpatient psychiatric hospital until Twin Valley closed 16 years ago due to state budget cuts.

In an interview this week, confirming that the state is putting up $10 million for the first phase of planning for a new facility, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he intends the new Dayton hospital to be night and day in comparison. with what was in Dayton before.â€

Currently, most of the Dayton region falls under the jurisdiction of Summit Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in Cincinnati, which has been a challenge to obtain space for local patients. Summit has become increasingly a forensic mental health hospital, meaning it has a focus on serving individuals who are in the custody of the criminal justice system.

“A county our size should have a specialty hospital for people who are struggling with behavioral health challenges,” Jones-Kelley said.

Law enforcement

Dayton Police Maj. Christopher Malson provided data that shows the strain mental health issues are placing on local law enforcement.

Dayton Police responded to 5,952 calls for service identified as some type of mental health-related call in 2023, although other types of calls may have a mental health aspect to them.

“All members of the Dayton Police Department, and more specifically, our Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) and our officers who have received Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, recognize that individuals who suffer from these challenges deserve care, treatment and special treatment and service,” said Malson. “The Dayton Police Department looks forward to working with any future partners that will help those dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues.â€

Local legislators

DeWine said he decided to pursue funding for the facility about two months ago. Local lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed support.

When asked about the project this week, Rep. Andrea White, R-Kettering, told this news organization that “100%, we have a crisis in mental health services” in southwest Ohio. She welcomed state funding to address mental health.

“We need more outpatient (care), we need more inpatient (care), we need places for our hospitals that are holding individuals because they are not well enough to go home , but they have to move because the hospital isn’t” It’s the right place for them at that point,” White said.

State Rep. Willis Blackshear Jr., D-Dayton, called the proposed state funding “a tremendous step in the right direction. We need to develop the tools to properly care for individuals with behavioral health conditions and ensure that their needs are met.

Probate courts do not wait

Local officials are still waiting to hear more details about this hospital. While they’re waiting for it, they plan to continue building resources in the community.

“We are encouraged that the discussion about resource allocation has returned to beds, which has been the fundamental problem for civil engagements and the response to the mental health crisis in general,” said Montgomery County Probate Court Judge David Brannon. .

The Probate Court will continue to increase outpatient treatment and monitoring since it will likely take years to see the final results of any hospital construction, he said. Individuals will also be discharged to the community and require outpatient treatment.

“In the meantime, stakeholders from hospitals to law enforcement should be encouraged to openly express their needs and essential services so we can have an ecosystem that works for everyone,” Brannon said.

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