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Bozeman Health expands behavioral health services with psychiatric care unit

The new psych unit has a common area for treatment with calming colors. The annex will serve adults in the community.
Olivia Weitz
/
Yellowstone Public Radio
The new psych unit has a common area for treatment with calming colors. The annex will serve adults in the community.

Bozeman Health is investing around $2 million this year to expand crisis care at Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center. The new psychiatric emergency services area is set to open on Monday.

The psychiatric care unit is adjacent to the emergency room and has two private patient rooms and a common area. The annex can serve up to five patients at a time.

Bozeman Health Behavioral Health Medical Director Dr. Anne Thomas says patients will be treated based on a 23-hour observation care model.

“To do that we’re going to use a variety of techniques such as medication management and individual and group therapy while they are here," she told reporters during a tour ahead of the unit's opening.

There are two private patient rooms in the psychiatric care unit.
Olivia Weitz
/
Yellowstone Public Radio
There are two private patient rooms in the psychiatric care unit.

Bozeman Health Chief Nursing Officer Diane Patterson says having a quiet, separate part of the ER will be a more healing environment for patients.

“Well we’re anticipating between 85 and 110 patients needing behavioral health services a month. That’s what we’re seeing now in the emergency department,” she said.

The city of Bozeman contributed $325,000 in COVID-19 relief funding towards the project. Bozeman Health says total project costs including staffing was a nearly $2 million investment this year.

Bozeman Health last year announced a 12-bed inpatient psychiatric unit would be ready by mid 2023. Interim CEO Dr. Kathryn Bertany tells YPR that construction will begin late next summer and wrap up by mid 2024.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.