Unity Center for Behavioral Health set to open
In January, the new Unity Center for Behavioral Health will open to begin caring for patients. Unity is a community-focused collaboration between Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health and OHSU to create a comprehensive psychiatric emergency care facility for people facing a mental health crisis.
Patients are quickly evaluated by a psychiatrist, stabilized and then a treatment plan is customized to their individual needs. Patients are also linked to community organizations for transitional support services.
The Unity Center combines vital psychiatric emergency care and adult and adolescent inpatient services. The Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES) drastically reduces the amount of time people suffering from a mental illness have to wait to get appropriate care compared to a conventional hospital emergency room. The PES is an outpatient service where patients can be under observation for a few hours up to 23 hours. Reducing the wait time and giving a person immediate attention has proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and shows better outcomes.
The inpatient facility will include 80 adult patient beds and 22 adolescent patient beds. There will also be a onsite Pharmacy, chapel, garden, café for visitors and staff, as well as 8 “calming rooms” for patients. On-site navigators from community behavioral health organizations will help coordinate continued support for patients after discharge. There will also be peers, who are individuals that have recovered from mental illness to support patients as they navigate the process.
The Unity Center’s care model is based on Trauma Informed Care (TIC), which promotes trust, safety, collaboration, peer support, choice, and the inclusion of cultural, historical and gender issues. Unity Center staff have integrated the principles of TIC into all of their policies, procedures and practices. Patients have available strong peer support personnel onsite. Having themselves overcome and recovered from a mental illness, these peers understand a patient’s challenges and can help guide them as they navigate the treatment process.