A new partnership between Dutchess County and the Westchester Medical Center Health Network looks to help those with mental illness.
The county is providing $3 million in funding for the new Behavioral Health Center of Excellence at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital. County Executive Marc Molinaro says the time is now to make this investment.
“We are living with a mental health care crisis and Dutchess County has made investment in mental wellness a critical priority,” Molinaro said. “This partnership is a major advancement and a model for the rest of the country, [a] community-based mental health system like the one we’ve developed.”
The $3 million will go to adding community shared spaces, inpatient behavioral health units, nursing stations and 20 inpatient beds.
Westchester Medical Center Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Josh Ratner says the partnership couldn’t have come at a better time.
“COVID has demonstrated in the isolation that’s come out of COVID the need for inpatient,” Ratner said. “All behavioral health services are even greater today than it ever has been. And while inpatient therapy is just one piece of the full continuum, it’s a critical element to being able to stabilize and get back on your feet.”
Ratner says the main focus is to help local counties in the northern region get the support they need.
“It really demonstrates to our northern region, which is Dutchess and Ulster and even Delaware counties, that we are firmly rooted in providing services to this critical population that needs mental health and behavioral health services,” said Ratner.
WMC Health will increase number of inpatient behavioral health beds available at Mid-Hudson to 60 and facilitate renovations to existing units.
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