The Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo (CMHHIP) is reopening 39 mental health beds in Pueblo, Colorado, this month after they were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hospital was made to close 94 of its beds during the pandemic as a result of virus outbreaks and labour constraints.

The reopening of 39 beds is expected to meet the needs of around 117 more patients in Colorado each year.

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) oversees CMHHIP and has begun a hiring campaign to recruit healthcare workers.

Workers have been offered 5% pay rises, temporary stipends and hiring bonuses of between $2,000 and $14,000.

The remaining 55 beds are scheduled to reopen once the staff have been hired.

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These additional beds will cater to competency patients, who need treatment as they are unable to function meaningfully in a legal proceeding.

CMHHIP CEO Jill Marshall said: “CMHHIP strives to provide exceptional care to Coloradans who wouldn’t otherwise get treatment.

“I am proud of the work our staff do to fulfil our mission, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help more Coloradans in need.”

The hospital’s capacity expansion is seen as a significant step in providing adequate treatment for individuals with severe mental illness, helping reduce the number of Coloradans waiting in jail for inpatient hospital beds.

In addition to the beds at CMHHIP, the CDHS is preparing to open Mental Health Transitional Living (MHTL) Homes in September this year.

These homes are intended to offer treatment for patients with mental health conditions who may not meet inpatient hospitalisation criteria or be able to live independently in the community.

The first phase of MHTL Homes will include the launch of 12 beds in September, with more beds due to be made available in November this year and March and May next year.