Construction Begins On 72 Bed Psychiatric Hospital In CS

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Patients needing psychiatric care will no longer have to travel to Houston or Austin after a new first of its kind facility opens in College Station.

The groundbreaking for a 72-bed psychiatric hospital happened Tuesday morning next to the College Station Medical Center.

Strategic Behavioral Health is investing $12 million for the hospital that will have 250 staff and salaries averaging $18 an hour.

Patients currently needing help including ones in custody have to be transported to Austin or Houston for treatment.

The hospital will also establish a residency program with the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

The hospital will also provide free clinical assessments for the public 24 hours a day.

"The stigma is still there from time to time and so we want to provide an opportunity for folks to know that it's your mother, it's your sister, it's your son, it's your daughter, it's your parents. It's everyone in our community that's affected by mental health and substance abuse disorders," said Jim Shaheen, Founder & President of Strategic Behavioral Health.

"We believe that the best way to have mental healthcare going forward is to train doctors in psychiatry that will stay in the state," said Dr. Joe Sokal, Regional Chair of Psychiatry at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

The hospital is expected to open a year from today.

Prior mental health facilities had been in town before but were unsuccessful.