AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are developing plans for a new state psychiatric hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with $44.7 million in state funding approved this Legislative session.

“There’s a critical need for additional inpatient mental health services in the Dallas area and we’re excited to be working with UT Southwestern on this project to design a state-of-the-art hospital that meets the mental health care needs of the community,” said HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young. “A new hospital will have a major impact on our ability to provide care to the most vulnerable Texans living in the surrounding Metroplex.”

“This commitment to constructing the first state psychiatric facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex represents a critical step in efforts to serve the acute and growing need for inpatient mental health services,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern Medical Center. “In seeking to address community needs, we look forward to working with the region’s stakeholders and leveraging the state’s investment in order to increase the availability of mental health care, to advance the research needed to develop the next generation of treatments, and expand the mental health workforce.”

Since 2017, the Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott have appropriated more than $1 billion in funding for the replacement, renovation or expansion of state hospitals throughout the state, HHS said in a news release.

In 2021, these appropriations included more than $44.7 million for the planning, design, and purchase of land for a new state hospital in the Metroplex.

“A new state hospital will be a game changer for our region,” said State Sen. Jane Nelson. “Combined with over $300 million to renovate our current state hospital facilities and increase community mental health services statewide, we will significantly increase our capacity to meet Texas’ mental health care needs.”

The new state hospital would primarily focus on care for adults and those involved with the justice system.

The estimated total cost and timeline of the project have yet to be determined and remaining funding is contingent on legislative approval. Staff