The Oklahoma Legislature today approved a $125 million dollar investment in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support the construction of two new state behavioral health hospitals.  The state-of-the-art facilities will replace aging facilities in Norman and Tulsa that have outlived their ability to adequately serve increasing demand for services.

The award marks the largest ever single investment in behavioral health services by Oklahoma lawmakers.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the new facilities will drastically change statewide behavioral health treatment by providing 150 additional treatment beds and enhancing therapeutic options.

“We are replacing outdated facilities that are frankly not capable of growing to meet demand and can’t be modified to host new evidence-based practices that advance care,” said Carrie Slatton-Hodges, ODMHSAS commissioner.  “Having facilities designed to deliver modern mental health treatment services is a game changer, and is an investment to meet current and future needs.”

$87 million in ARPA funding will be go toward replacing Griffin Memorial Hospital, with a total replacement cost of approximately $137 million.

The new psychiatric hospital will be a 330-bed state-of-the-art facility housing 275 adult beds and 55 adolescent beds. It is expected to be complete in the spring of 2026.

Replacing the current Tulsa Center for Behavioral Health will be done in partnership with the City of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University. Total cost is $70 million, with $38 million in ARPA funding and donor investments. The hospital will have 106 beds, said Slatton-Hodges.

It is slated for completion in November 2024.

Slatton-Hodges indicated that the legislature’s approval demonstrates a commitment to behavioral healthcare in our state.

“This unprecedented action further demonstrates the commitment by our elected officials to expand access to life-saving behavioral health services and the need to expand opportunities for care,” she said. “As we continue to modernize our approach to the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services statewide, and increase the ability of all Oklahomans to engage in services when needed, these facilities will play an integral part in making positive change occur.”

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