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Kettering Health mental health center expanding

More local services will be available for people who need mental health care — from an intensive hospital stay to outpatient therapy — after Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center expands its capacity next year.

The behavioral health hospital — part of Kettering Health Network — plans to add more beds and services after some of its services for children are taken over by Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The Dayton Daily News previously reported that Dayton Children’s is building its first inpatient unit for young people with mental health problems, which is set to open next year. The pediatric hospital plans to take over Kettering Health’s inpatient children’s services, which will give Kettering the space and resources to expand adult services.

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Kettering Health Network has been adding more emergency departments and other facilities, which has led to more patients getting referrals for behavioral services or to be admitted for mental health care, said Toby Taubenheim, director of Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center.

The health network also had more referrals for mental health care from Grandview Medical Center’s emergency department in Dayton after nearby Good Samaritan Hospital closed, increasing volume at Grandview.

Taubenheim said part of the expansion will include adding eight more beds to the behavioral intensive care unit, adding to the eight existing beds for patients needing extra attention for acute mental health problems. The behavioral intensive care unit was added about four years ago and already needs expanded, he said.

“One thing in particular is we are seeing more acutely psychotic and sicker behavioral health patients,” he said.

The eight additional beds will help patients who come to one of the hospitals emergency departments and need mental health care to quickly get transferred to where they need to be.

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“It’s not good for patients — especially behavioral health patients — to sit in an (emergency department) for very long,” Taubenheim said.

The center also has an intensive outpatient program that is typically full to its capacity of 20 to 22 patients. The hospital plans to expand its sessions so it can have about 40 patients in the program, who now face a waiting period or can be referred elsewhere if they need immediate care.

Dayton Children’s Hospital is planning to open its first mental health inpatient beds in July 2019, after which Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center can expand adult services into the pediatric area of the Lamme Road campus. Kettering Behavioral Medicine also will continue to provide outpatient therapy services for children.

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