The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has chosen a site for establishing the South Central Regional Psychiatric Hospital in Sedgwick County, US. 

This site is located near MacArthur and Meridian in south-west Wichita.  

The latest announcement follows the Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners’ authorisation for Sedgwick County to commence negotiations on the proposed site. 

A site review committee, comprising Sedgwick County and the KDADS staff, evaluated 11 properties and three building proposals before making the final recommendation. 

This recommendation was also influenced by public feedback gathered during a town hall meeting. 

The new psychiatric hospital will focus on providing acute inpatient mental health care and include adult forensic beds to help reduce jail overcrowding and the backlog of pending evaluations and treatments. 

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It further aims to increase the availability of in-patient mental health beds in the region, enabling patients to stay closer to their homes and families while receiving treatment. 

The US state of Kansas currently operates state psychiatric hospitals that offer similar services in Osawatomie and Larned. 

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, through Executive Order 23-05, has set up a 14-member advisory panel for the South Central Regional Psychiatric Hospital.  

The panel’s role is to solicit public input and advise on the facility’s operation, location, and workforce development.  

It will also assess the integration of the state hospital with current or planned services in the region, pinpointing existing resources, service gaps, and opportunities to enhance mental health service access. 

An interim report from the panel has been submitted to the Sedgwick County Commission and the Kansas state governor on 15 January, with a final report expected by 30 June 2024. 

KDADS Hospitals and Facilities deputy secretary Scott Brunner said: “All of us on the review committee and involved in the site selection process are excited to continue progress toward building the regional hospital. 

“Selecting a site lets us move forward with the design process and allows us to have a more focused conversation with residents and a discussion with stakeholders about incorporating state hospital services into what is already available in Sedgwick County and the region as a whole.”