Oklahoma City Metro Getting New Mental Health Hospital

The Oklahoma City metro can expect a new mental health hospital to be built by 2026.

Tuesday, September 12th 2023, 10:34 pm


After years of planning, the Oklahoma City metro is getting a new mental health hospital.

The facility will replace the aging Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman.

Officials tell us this will be a safe haven for people going through a crisis.

“It’s really a pivotal moment for mental healthcare in our state,” said Carrie Slatton-Hodges with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced plans to partner with the university to bring a new mental health hospital to Oklahoma City, called Donahue Behavioral Health.

“People come from all over the state to receive care at Griffin Memorial, so you have an easy access from all four corners of the state,” Slatton-Hodges said.

The hospital will have room to take in more than 300 people, with remaining space for emergencies.

“We will have a place for people to come in and be evaluated and assessed and meet with someone, and we can provide you care and treatment right then and there,” Slatton-Hodges said.

State lawmakers approved $87 million in American Rescue Act Plan funds for the project.

“When we got this big influx of federal dollars, we wanted to put it into something that was going to last another century,” Senator Julia Kirt (D-OKC) said.

Oklahoma County Commissioners, philanthropic groups and the sale of Griffin Memorial’s land will pay for the rest.

“This is going to not only benefit the state, but it is also going to benefit the county jail because it’s going to be right in our backyard,” Oklahoma County Commissioner Myles Davidson said.

Oklahoma County Commissioners pushed for the new hospital to be built in Oklahoma City to ease the burden on the Oklahoma County Detention Center.

“I spoke with a deputy recently and he told me there was an individual who was naked, and he thought he was clothed,” Sue Ann Arnall with the Arnall Family Foundation said. “The person did not commit a crime, but he had to charge him with indecent exposure. That’s how we’re treating mental illness here, because there aren’t enough options.”

The Donahue campus will be built and open by 2026.


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