Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee has broken ground on a 25-bed short stay unit at Butler Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Providence.

This project is funded by the State Fiscal Recovery Fund and federal funds to help with pandemic recovery.

The new unit will provide mental health treatment while cutting down the burden on overcrowded emergency rooms.

McKee said: “This important project will provide behavioural healthcare through mental health and substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention, and other services.

“This project falls under one of the three pillars of our Administration’s Rhode Island 2030 Plan – to create a healthier Rhode Island where we reduce chronic illness and improve health outcomes.”

It will have spaces to care for different patient groups, including teenagers and adults.

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The revamped site is anticipated to open in 2024. CannonDesign is the architect for the project, while DPR Construction is the construction manager.

Butler Hospital president and COO Mary E. Marran said: “The $8m in SFRF funds provided by Governor McKee and the General Assembly, combined with an additional $4m in other federal funds, allows our hospital to have a substantial impact in eliminating the issue of Emergency Department boarding or closed beds due to infections such as COVID.”

Butler Hospital offers specialised care for mental illnesses along with substance abuse.