Beckett Springs behavioral health hospital is undergoing an expansion that will increase the number of beds for treatment of adults from 72 to 96.

Beckett Springs is undergoing an expansion that will increase the number of inpatient beds available for adults and allow the behavioral health hospital to offer outpatient services for children and adolescents for the first time, says CEO Jeff Pritchard.

The West Chester facility opened in July 2013 as a 48-bed hospital at 8614 Shepherd Farm Drive. An expansion in 2015 increased the number of beds available for inpatient treatment of adults to 72, he says.

The most recent expansion, which is expected to be completed in late December, will increase the number of beds available to 96, says Pritchard. “We thought 24 (additional beds) was appropriate,” he says.

That’s because the hospital has seen the need for its addiction treatment and mental health services increase. Beds for the inpatient treatment of adults will be evenly divided between addiction treatment and mental health services, Pritchard says. “Right now we have 36 addiction and 36 mental health beds and so our plan would be out of the gate to go to 48 and 48,” he says.

Despite recent news reports linking Ohio to the highest rate of fatal heroin overdoses in the nation, Pritchard says Beckett Springs is seeing an equally high need for mental health services.

The two needs are not mutually exclusive, however. “We see a lot of both,” says Pritchard. “Obviously the heroin and opioid epidemic we’re right in the middle of where everything’s happening so I think we see a good bit from that,” he says. “But we see an equal amount of mental health needs.”

And often people will have both mental health and addiction needs, he says. “We just see more and more people who may come in and have an addiction to an opioid or alcohol or [benzodiazepines] but they also have some other mental illness that goes along with it,” says Pritchard.

In addition to being able to treat more adults, the expansion will allow Beckett Springs to treat children and adolescents in an outpatient environment, he says. That came from listening to community members, Pritchard says.

“We talk with people about needs and we talk to our own patients about needs and I think the consistent message has been it would be great if there were a Beckett Springs outpatient service for children and adolescents,” he says. “And I think we’ve listened to that.”

The outpatient treatment program for children and adolescents will not only enable them to avoid hospitalization, but it will also increase the chances of success for those who have been hospitalized to continue their treatment in an outpatient environment closer to home, says Pritchard.

So with two expansions in four years is another expansion on the horizon for Beckett Springs? “The honest answer is we’re just not sure,” says Pritchard. “Certainly if there is a need then we’ll examine those things, but you hate to jump into too many.”

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