Battling the Behavioral Health Shortage in North Texas

Over the past several years, a number of behavioral health facilities in North Texas have closed, adding stress to a system that already had much fewer beds per capita than other urban areas in Texas. As of this summer, North Texas had about 580 licensed behavioral health beds, while Houston’s Harris County has nearly triple the number of beds at 1,549, and even San Antonio has 847 licensed beds. Most major public hospitals have upwards of 150 behavioral health beds, and John Peter Smith has more than 150. Parkland Hospital in Dallas County has just 20.  Health providers have their work… Full Story

Expert: Designing for Mental Health

The only thing constant in the healthcare market is change, which is why it is hard to believe that the stigma associated with mental health treatment and hospitals remains after all these years. The challenging goal for designers of healthcare spaces is to create a patient care environment and experience that allows for clinical success.  For behavioral and mental healthcare spaces, designers must understand how one’s surrounding area affects the five senses and triggers an emotional response. Can designers actually manipulate the healing process and overall patient experience with good design? Scientists have said that more than half the brain… Full Story

Expert: The Impact of Texas’ $745 Million Investment in Mental Health

Texas state lawmakers just wrapped up the 86th legislative session, and as a part of their work, they approved $745 million for the construction of mental health facilities specifically designed to improve the lives of Texans receiving treatment. That’s an investment our country desperately needs. In the United States, nearly one in five adults live with mental illness, and almost one in 20 experience severe mental illness. It is clear mental health is an issue that should get our collective attention. However, Texas ranked third to last in the nation in mental health care spending per capita in 2013 —… Full Story

A New Take on the Sexual Health Clinic

Dallas County led the nation for the highest rate of increase for new Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections from 2016 to 2017 and is one of 48 counties nationwide with the highest rates of new HIV infections. In response, a number of organizations are teaming up with the Dallas County Health and Human Services department to fight the stigma and impact of HIV in Dallas. The plan involves identifying those who are at risk and have been effected with HIV, and to get those individuals on proper medication and in touch with the health system. It also means reaching the populations… Full Story

Sundance Hospitals Acquired by Georgia’s Perimeter Healthcare

Atlanta-based Perimeter Healthcare acquired the former Sundance Behavioral & Mental Health Hospitals in Garland and Arlington earlier this year. The two 116-bed inpatient psychiatric hospitals will open as Perimeter Behavioral Hospital of Arlington and Perimeter Behavioral Hospital of Dallas to provide care for those who need acute mental and behavioral healthcare later this year. The two facilities are undergoing extensive renovations, as Perimeter seeks to make its mark on the North Texas Behavioral Health Market. The pediatric facilities will include space for yoga, play, and equine therapy. The opening of the hospitals will help alleviate the stress on the mental health… Full Story

Lawsuit Accuses Timberlawn Hospital of Negligence in Teenage Rape

A lawsuit alleges that a 13-year-old girl was raped by a 17-year old fellow patient at the since-closed Timberlawn psychiatric hospital, reports the Dallas Morning News. The father of the girl brought the suit against the hospital in Dallas County court. He says his daughter, who was being treated for depression, is still disturbed about the assault and still needs medical treatment. Universal Health Services, Timberlawn’s parent company, declined to comment according to DMN. The 144-bed hospital voluntarily closed last year after the state threatened to fine the facility and take away its licenses due to concerns about patient safety.… Full Story

THR Awards $5.2 Million to Address Social Determinants of Health

In Johnson County, the suicide rate for seniors is 25 percent above the Texas average, but a grant from Texas Health Resources is working to help isolated seniors. THR will be distributing $5.2 million worth of community impact grants all across North Texas to address everything from depression to food scarcity. The initiative is called Texas Health Community Impact and focuses on specific ZIP codes where chronic disease and premature death are more common, and partners with agencies in education, healthcare, and government. The funds will be directed toward 12 agencies across five geographic regions made up of 401 ZIP codes… Full Story

Smart Health and Wellness Opens Legacy-Plano Location

Smart Health and Wellness Centers has opened in Plano, uniting primary care, psychiatry, and neurology providers in a collaborative medical team. The site is the largest of Smart Health’s three locations. The new construction will be a free-standing, single story, 10,000-square-foot medical clinic with wings for exam rooms, psychiatric rooms, and advanced Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy. There will also be therapy spaces for individuals, families, and groups. The location also has a nephrology lab and electroencephalogram testing. Smart Health and Wellness Centers was founded in 2016 and was originally known as Bent Tree Health Professionals, a psychiatric practice. The facility allow psychiatric… Full Story

Sundance Behavioral Health System Files for Bankruptcy

After reports that the Arlington location of Sundance Behavioral Health System held patients against their will, the entire system filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday. Bankruptcy court documents show the system owes 50 to 99 creditors between one and 10 million dollars, and it reports having only $500,00-$1,000,000 in assets. In December, the Arlington location surrendered its license and ceased operations after the allegations were made. The Dallas Morning News reports that most of the 20 allegations made in November and December had to do with holding patients against their will, such as detaining a minor and illegally holding… Full Story

Local Psych Hospitals are in Trouble, Furthering Mental Health Shortage

Over the past few weeks, two different mental health systems have made headlines for violations. NBC 5 reported that the Arlington location of Sundance Behavioral Health System surrendered its license and ceased operations after allegations that it held patients against their will, and the Dallas Morning News reported that the Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital in DeSoto is losing medicare funding after suspected sex amongst minors and patients left untreated. The allegations come on the heels of the closing of Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital earlier this year. The law firm representing Sundance Behavioral Healthcare System, said it cannot afford to stay open because… Full Story