Altru Health System has signed a letter of intent with Universal Health Services (UHS) to explore opportunities for an inpatient behavioural health facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota, US.

The purpose of this facility is to increase the bed capacity that is currently available at Altru and accommodate both adult and paediatric patients.

Altru Health System CEO Todd Forkel said: “We understand the urgent need for improved access to behavioral health services in our community and throughout our state.

 “A collaborative effort with a nationally recognised organisation like UHS provides the opportunity to greatly increase this access and provide outstanding care to the residents of our region. Altru is committed to being a leader in the treatment of mental and behavioural health and chemical dependency issues in our state.”

The particulars of the collaboration are yet to be determined.

The two firms will work together in the months to come to determine a way forward in executing on the goal of expanding behavioural health services in Greater Grand Forks and beyond.

UHS Behavioural Health Group CEO Jeff Herman said: “As our nation faces compounding crises, the need for high-quality mental healthcare has never been more important especially as the rate of suicide and calls for help have been increasing over the last few years.

“It is exciting to explore options with Altru Health System to bring more beds to this region. We recognise Altru Health System shares our mission and vision to provide patients and their loved ones with compassionate behavioural healthcare, services and support.”