BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is set to begin construction this week on two new in-patient psychiatric facilities.
With an additional 32 beds and $25.5 million going into funding Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services is eager to see its new facilities operational while addressing the needs of those in the community with severe and acute psychiatric needs.
Director Stacy Kuwahara says these facilities will provide services to those been identified as in need of the most care, providing the same medical intervention and stabilization as a hospital but in a recovery-centered setting.
"Having this additional resource rounds out our ability to respond at the time of need, when somebody needs to go in-patient," said Kuwahara. "These are in-patient beds when somebody's going through an acute psychiatric crisis and they need hospitalization, then these are two additional facilities that are going to offer resources to them in a really healing environment."
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One facility will house and provide services for adults through Telecare Corporation, one of the largest providers of mental support services for adults. The other will offer recovery services and care for minors.
"We know that our children and youth are suffering post-pandemic, and having that kind of crisis care when you need it is really important," added Kuwahara.
Kern Behavioral Health and the county hope these new facilities will also act as another step in addressing our homeless crisis. Director of the Bakersfield Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative Anna Laven says these facilities will be able to assist those homeless individuals experiencing mental health or recovery issues too severe for a congregate shelter.
"For us, this is very exciting because it gives us an extra tool in our toolbelt to provide acute psychiatric services. In a congregate setting, you have case managers and other folks, but they're not trained to the level that you'll see at the psychiatric units."
"We have two types of facilities currently serving Kern County: a psychiatric health facility is still providing in-patient care but are not associated with hospital and so they really try to make it a very recovery-oriented time," said Kuwahara.
Kern Behavioral is set to break ground on the new facilities Thursday at 10 a.m. They'll be located at 702 Workman Street in southeast Bakersfield and construction is expected to last through at least the summer of 2023.