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Mental Health Monday: New behavioral health hospital hopes to aid in mental health, addiction crisis

The health system hopes the 72,000-square-foot hospital will bolster mental health resources in the area.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been a 70% increase in mental health services and a 60% increase in addiction services. Resources can't keep up. 

That is one reason a new behavioral health hospital is now open in west Knoxville on Weisgarber Road. 

The health system hopes the 72,000-square-foot hospital, called East Tennessee Behavioral Health, will bolster mental health resources in the area. The new 90-bed facility will offer both in-patient and out-patient services.

The hospital has adult and adolescent inpatient programs, meant to help stabilize people if they are experiencing a mental health problem.

There is also a partial hospitalization program for adults, which will allow patients to leave the facility at night. During the day, patients can expect to take part in treatment for between six and eight hours.

Adults looking for mental health services will also be able to take part in an intensive outpatient program, where they visit the hospital for treatments and therapies before returning home.

"There's a cumulative effect of the strain and drain of mental health issues that go untreated especially if someone feels isolated and without the support and without the inability to get help when they decide that they're ready," licensed psychologist Dan Flannery said.

According to the hospital's website, they will also be able to help people primarily struggling with opioid use disorder. However, they said they can only help people struggling with addiction to another substance if they have a comorbid diagnosis.

Patients at the East Tennessee Behavioral Health hospital follow a plan that the hospital creates specifically for them. They said that by addressing patients' specific needs, they hope to create lasting healing.

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