SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Marian Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the grand opening of its new Behavioral Health Observation Unit.
The newest addition to the medical center is being called a major mile stone for mental health substance abuse treatment Santa Maria.
"The serves a need in the community that has not been addressed in this way before. And it is a service that as well overdue," said vice president Ken Dalebout of Dignity Health Central Coast.
This facility will be open 24 hours a day used for those needing intervention, assessment, evaluation and therapy.
Doctors say this is the only facility of its kind on the central coast.
"We’re excited to finally provide emergency and acute care for mental health patients in a crisis setting … in a private crisis setting something we’ve never been able to provide before in our community," said Dr. David Ketelaar of Marian Regional Medical Center.
Administrators at Marian say a minimum of 50 patient mental health beds are recommended for every 100, 000 people.
They say Santa Barbara County only has four for every 100,000.
With one out of every eight emergency department visits being behavioral health or substance abuse related, they believe the new facility will fill a major void in local health care.
The facility will be staffed with psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, and support staff.