Conway Behavioral Health is opening its adolescent program Sunday and is on track to be fully open by the end of August.
Marketing Director Julio Alvarez address the Conway Kiwanis Club on Wednesday, telling the group that public perception of mental health has improved but still needs work.
"There's still a bit of a stigma [with mental health issues] but it's gotten so much better," Alvarez said. "Some people still see depression as a character flaw. It's not; it's a medical problem."
The facility at 2255 Sturgis Road in Conway began accepting men and women over 18 into its Inpatient Adult Acute Program in January.
It gradually expanded to four units — the adult acute program as well as the addition of an Inpatient Adult Dual Diagnosis Program, Inpatient Adolescent Acute Program and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Program — that each have 10 rooms with a 20-bed capacity for a total of 80 beds.
A new feature the facility will utilize is “swing beds,” in the middle of the corridor to increase the bed space on certain units and decrease on others should the need arise.
Other highlights of the facility include a computer lab where patients, especially adult patients, can tend to items such as paying bills, etc. and stay somewhat connected while receiving treatment; a gymnasium where patients can decompress and get some exercise; separate quiet and noisy activity rooms where patients who are watching TV or playing Jenga won’t disturb patients trying to read or complete a puzzle ; a comfort room with rocking gliders for patients who are overstimulated or need to relax; two courtyards for each unit; and motion detectors in the patient rooms so if a patient gets up during the night, the staff are alerted.
Alvarez said he appreciates the welcome the company has received from the start.
"The community has been so gracious, inviting and welcoming," he said. "We think it's going to be a great partnership."
For more information, visit www.ConwayBH.com.