AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Children’s Health hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the state’s newest psychiatric hospital in Dallas, The Texas Behavioral Health Center at UT Southwestern. The project is part of the state’s comprehensive plan to expand inpatient psychiatric beds.
“Texas is making an unprecedented investment in helping people with serious mental illness. Throughout the state we are expanding, renovating and rebuilding our state psychiatric hospital system from the ground up. When complete, this much-needed hospital will offer hope, healing and recovery for the most vulnerable Texans living in the surrounding Metroplex,” said HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young.
HHSC is partnering with UT Southwestern Medical Center to design and construct the new facility. The joint project between HHSC and UT Southwestern will bring the expertise of both organizations, along with community stakeholders, to create a state-of-the-art mental health system for the region. Construction is estimated to be complete by 2025.
“UT Southwestern is pleased to partner with HHSC and the State of Texas to address important unmet needs in our region and state for inpatient treatment as part of the continuum of care for those suffering from serious mental illness. UT Southwestern physicians and other caregivers will bring to this new hospital our commitment to provide the very best care possible today for patients,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern Medical Center. “This new hospital also provides opportunities to develop innovative models of behavioral health care, train a holistic behavioral health care workforce, and advance research that can lead to more effective treatment and prevention.”
Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature approved $282.5 million in funding for the construction and design of a new hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Additionally, Children’s Health donated $200 million to support a pediatric wing where UT Southwestern pediatricians will exclusively treat children and adolescent patients. The facility will have 296 beds, with 200 for adults and up to 96 reserved for pediatric patients.
“We have been working on many fronts in Texas to address the growing need for mental health services,” said State Sen. Jane Nelson. “Securing funds for this hospital was a wise investment that will have a major positive impact on our ability to care for Texans in need of treatment.”
"The new hospital fills a great need in our community for more psychiatric hospital beds. I am proud to have worked on this project since the beginning of the 85th Legislature in 2017,” said State Sen. Royce West. “I am particularly excited that this facility will provide patients a true continuum of psychiatric care—both in-patient and out-patient—to help treat those persons suffering from severe mental illness."
“The new Texas Behavioral Health Center at UT Southwestern is an exciting and long overdue addition to our region's ability to address mental health challenges,” said State Rep. Toni Rose. “The full range of patient services offered by the new hospital combined with UT Southwestern's world-class research truly marks a new day for mental healthcare in North Texas."
Click here for a video to learn more about the new facility.
Expanding state hospital capacity
Since 2017, the Texas Legislature and Gov. Abbott have appropriated more than $1.2 billion in funding for the replacement, renovation, or expansion of state hospitals in Austin, Kerrville, Rusk, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. Construction was completed earlier this year on the John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center in Houston, the newest facility in the state hospital system. Combined, the construction projects will add at least approximately 670 new inpatient psychiatric beds in Texas within the next four years.
For more information on HHSC’s Comprehensive Plan for State-Funded Inpatient Mental Health Services please visit: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/about-hhs/process-improvement/addendum-comprehensive-plan-state-hospitals-jan-2021.pdf.
For more information about state hospital construction projects throughout the state, visit the Changes to the State Hospital System page on the HHS website.