GRAND RAPIDS — There’s no doubt there has been an unprecedented demand for mental health services since the pandemic started but now, Pine Rest is taking that one step further with their COVID-19 psychiatric unit.
They renovated an existing space on their Cutlerville campus to open a new special care unit, making it possible to effectively care for a patients with a range of health needs. As hospitals work to provide the best care possible it has been a challenge to find placement for individuals in need of psychiatric care who also test positive for COVID as very few health providers in the state are equipped to do so.
President and CEO of Pine Rest, Dr. Mark Eastburg says the clinical care that will be provided will be similar to what you find in a typical psychiatric inpatient unit. “Medication therapies, there's group therapies, there's educational classes, all to help people get through their initial crisis, so that they can move on and get get back into the community as quickly as possible. So it's really like any other inpatient hospital experience, but with the added feature of the protection for COVID,” he said.
This unit has a unique design and negative air pressure to create a space well suited to provide psychiatric care for people who are asymptotic or experiencing mild symptoms. The main goal is to increase access for those needing behavioral health care, all while alleviating the strain on hospitals.
“We really hope that we can continue making progress around de-stigmatizing mental health treatment. All of us experience mental health mental health challenges, from time to time, depression, the blues feeling down, feeling anxious about things and we should, as a community, as a society, just recognize that's normal and that help is there. Perhaps through this crisis around COVID we can begin to de-stigmatize that because we've all been in the same boat in a lot of ways. We we've all been challenged through this,” Dr. Eastburg said.
While operating at full capacity the unit will be able to serve 24 general psychiatric patients and 10 adult foster care patients.
For more information on what is offered click here.