Mental Health is a BIG Priority in Odessa Texas
Odessa Mayor Javier Joven and Odessa City Council want the community to know that “mental health” issue is a priority!
Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mayor Javier Joven and the Odessa City Council believe addressing the mental health issue facing Ector County and the Permian Basin is important! They’re doing their part to make a difference. Odessa City Manager John Beckmeyer also weighed in on how critical it is to our community. “We have a really good project going on out here with MCHS. It’s a much-needed facility,” said John Beckmeyer, Odessa City Manager.
Odessa local leaders unanimously voted to allocate $1 million in ARPA funds (federal funds) to the Medical Center Health System for mental health. “Mental health is just as important as our physical health. I am pleased and excited for our community and for the Permian Basin for acknowledging and taking action,” said Council Member Greg Connell. The money will be used for the Permian Basin Behavioral Health Center. Construction is underway on the facility which will have 200 beds and is set to open in 2025.
“As a Councilman, I’m so proud to be a part of this Behavioral Health Hospital. Thank You PSP and the state of Texas for making this a reality,” said Council Member Steve Thompson. PSP stands for the Permian Strategic Partnership, a coalition of local energy companies and higher education institutions that joined together to work in partnership with leaders across the region to address current and future challenges. PSP donated $10 million in grants.
“Right now, the majority of emergency psychiatric/mental health/behavioral health care is taking place in the emergency rooms, that is not a good environment for that to happen,” said Russell Tippin President Medical Center Health System. Law enforcement officials also encounter mental health issues with citizens. Currently, those residents are taken to neighboring cities such as to Big Spring or San Angelo where the closest facilities to address behavioral issues are located. However, many times these facilities are full.
Tippin also pointed out that the Odessa City Council is the first government body to put money into this project. ARPA stands for the American Rescue Plan Act money.
Thank you Mayor Joven and council members Connell, Swanner, Matta Thompson, Vasquez and Hanie.
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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins