VA adds mental-health facility at Fort Harrison

Daily Inter Lake

Officials with the Veterans Affairs Montana health-care system will unveil a 24,000-square-foot inpatient mental-health facility at Fort Harrison on June 3.

The nearly $7 million, 24-bed facility on the VA campus in Helena will provide acute psychiatric care and residential rehabilitation. Previously, Montana’s veterans needing inpatient recovery care for post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and acute psychiatric treatment traveled to VA facilities in North Dakota, Wyoming or Idaho.

The new mental-health facility will serve the state’s veterans with a full array of comprehensive services including eight beds in a locked acute unit, eight for PTSD and eight for substance abuse.

Staff for the new unit will include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, a licensed addiction counselor, a peer support technician, seven registered nurses and 12 licensed practical nurses.

The grand opening takes place at 2 p.m. June 3. The public is invited to attend.

Dr. Robert Petzel, the VA’s undersecretary for health, will speak at the event. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., also is expected to attend.