Unity Point Trinity has been selected to participate in a national research study to better serve those suffering from behavioral health issues.
On Friday, the hospital announced that as part of its $63 million project to build a new Heart Center/Main Emergency Department, it will also include a Crisis Stabilization Unit that will treat behavioral health patients.
"For years, psychosis has been the number two most prevalent diagnosis in the emergency room," said Dr. David Deopere, President of the Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health.
The Crisis Stabilization Unit will take a unique approach to treating behavioral health patients by using the "living room concept."
"We can take them into a setting which is very gentile, really scripted with an environment that takes them out of a sterile environment, out of a clinical environment, and allows them to interact with a therapist and clinical caregivers," said Deborah Sheehan, Principal of Cannon Design and their healthcare division.
"It is meant to be an environment that deescalates patients, an opportunity for conversations with counselors where we can really use lighting use environmental features to really take the anxiety levels down so we can get at the heart of the diagnosis," Sheehan said.
The "living room" will have natural wooden walls, soft furniture, a big screen TV, and an aquarium and will be located in the center of the emergency room. Patients will be able to go to the emergency room and go straight to the Crisis Stabilization Unit, eliminating wait times and getting them to a safe place right away.
"It's just creating so much more accessibility for the community and the region and so much more safety for the behavioral patient as well as the non behavioral patient," said Dr. Deopere. "It's very exciting to see this happen."
Construction of the Heart Center/Emergency Department project is set to be finished by March 2015.
(editor's note: We previously said the Principal of Cannon Design was Deborah Seidler. Her name is Deborah Sheehan. We apologize for the error.)