Officials at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria hope to address gaps in mental health care with the opening of a new Behavioral Health Outpatient Unit in the coming months.
The facility, which includes beds for eight people, has been in the works for the past few years, with the potential for expansion. Services that will be provided to those experiencing a mental health crisis include intervention, assessment, evaluation, therapy and support resources, according to Dignity Health Central Coast spokeswoman Sara San Juan.
Members of the public and local officials, including Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, were introduced to the unit on Tuesday through a tour and blessing ceremony.
While a lack of mental health beds and resources in North County previously meant that local residents had to be sent to areas like Santa Barbara for inpatient care, the facility now provides the opportunity for more immediate care for