HDGH's mental health bed expansion project making progress

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Things are moving in the right direction when it comes to the 68 bed mental health expansion project at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, though the project remains a long term endeavour.

President and CEO Bill Marra provided an update to the HDGH Board of Directors on the project at their board meeting Wednesday night.

Marra says as part of the larger hospital system investment and new hospital process, 68 beds currently located at the Ouellette Campus will be transferring to the Tayfour Campus on Prince Road.

"That will then establish the entire continuum of care for mental health and addictions on this campus. We'll have the 49 tertiary mental health beds, the long term mental health beds as their known, that already are here. We would add these 68 beds, we have problem gambling also on this campus, we have a 20 bed withdrawal management, and a plethora of outpatient services as well."

This is all part of Stage 2A and 2B, which is the functional planning process, where officials are trying to determine along with planning consultants what each room requirement and patient requirement is as well as where they will put patients. 

Marra says they've got some good ideas on what it's going to look like, and they should be able to finish the current stages in about eight or nine months.

"We then will proceed to Stages 3 and 4, those will take about one year each as well. By the time we get to construction drawings and tendering it'll be about three years from now. So we expect by 2024 and 2025 to be able to go out to tender for construction," he said.

It will then take approximately a two year construction period to prepare the campus for the transition of the beds.

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(Photo Credit: Courtesy of HDGH)

Marra says as part of the project they'll also be adding suites dedicated to renal dialysis, more radiology on campus, probably two ultrasound machines and a CT scan as well.

"So when you look at the window of three to four years, it'll go by rather fast. We also want to work with government around establishing a dedicated urgent care and emergency center here," he continued. "That way in the event of a citizen experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis they can come to a dedicated ER where we have the services on this campus as well."

Marra says the expansion project will make a big impact in the community once it has been completed, but knows issues persist.

Anyone dealing with any mental health or addictions related problems can visit HDGH's website to find out how to contact the Crisis and Mental Wellness Centre