Baptist Health in Pensacola unveils details of new behavioral health unit

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The announcement coincides with the start of National Mental Health Awareness Month.

Baptist Health Care in Pensacola announced Monday it is building a $30 million behavioral health unit that, beginning the fall of 2023, can offer treatment to senior citizens, adults, adolescents, and even children. 

The new behavioral health unit will have 72-bed behavioral health beds and also feature a room that combines a variety of stimuli, including special lighting, colors and sound, which help people develop, engage and regulate their senses. The nearly 45,000-square-foot facility also boasts dayrooms for common gatherings, and the center of the building will feature a courtyard garden.

Half the 72-bed unit will be reserved for adult patients, with another 10 beds specifically be reserved for geriatric patients. According to the hospital, 14 beds will be for adolescents, and 12 beds for children.

“We provide care to thousands of individuals requiring inpatient behavioral health care each year. More than 1,100 of those patients are children ages 10 to 17 and as young as age 5,” Baptist Health Care President and CEO Mark Faulkner said in a prepared statement announcing the new behavioral health unit. “We are honored to bring this new facility and environment to our community that will offer a haven in which patients can focus on their recovery.” 

The behavioral health unit will be on the new campus for Baptist Health at the intersection of Brent Lane and I-110 in Pensacola. The Bear Family Foundation Center will also be on campus. The buildings will have similar design features and color combinations.

The announcement of the finalized design plans for the behavioral health unit coincides with the start of National Mental Health Awareness Month.

According to a local study conducted by Achieve Health EscaRosa, mental health issues are the second most pressing health care concern among residents living in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, behind obesity.

“At our new location, we are adding inpatient geriatric services while offering more private rooms, including those for the child and adolescent unit,” said Eric Rutledge, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services. “Our goal is to incorporate the latest technologies and techniques in a setting where our patients feel safe and can fully engage in their treatment plan.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


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