SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The expansion of Avera Behavioral Health will make it easier for people to get help. We got our first look inside the 60-thousand square foot addition on the south side of Sioux Falls on Thursday.
The new four-story wing sits next to the original Avera Behavioral Health which opened in 2006. This addition was made possible by a 13 million dollar matching grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.
The wing will address some previously unmet needs with new services including specialized units for children and adolescents, senior care and partial hospitalization for young people, meaning patients can go home at night. One of the cornerstones of the expansion is the introduction of mental health acute care.
“I think this is a big lift for consumers, the average person in the community that is going to have an event or has an event and doesn’t know exactly what to do and doesn’t know where to go, you will now have access to a 24/7 365 team,” said Dr. Mathew Stanley.
Helmsley Trustee, Walter Panzirer says mental illness needs to be treated just like any other illness.
“It’s no different than having high cholesterol, or anything like that, diabetes you need to get treated and you shouldn’t be ashamed of getting treated its a medical condition,” said Panzirer.
The expansion brings all of Avera’s behavioral health treatment under one roof. Dr. Stanley says the need for more services is there.
“We have a growing population with more awareness with perhaps more stressors than we have ever been aware of or acknowledged and that is leading to more need of behavioral health beds. The timing on this, who would have, we did not anticipate the pandemic when we started building this but as I said the timing couldn’t be better because the pandemic has triggered a lot of mental health needs,” said Dr. Stanley.
Behavioral Health Urgent Care is slated to open in late March. The youth Addiction Care Center will begin taking referrals on March 14th. Emily’s Hope has pledged $100,000 to go toward treatment scholarships. This will help offset the cost for families.