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More than 50 people have already been treated at new Meridian psychiatric hospital

Cottonwood Creek, a psychiatric hospital, opened in mid-January and admitted more than 50 patients in its first three weeks.
Cottonwood Creek, a psychiatric hospital, opened in mid-January and admitted more than 50 patients in its first three weeks.

Since the new Cottonwood Creek Behavioral Hospital opened Jan. 14, it has admitted more than 50 patients.

The Meridian hospital, owned by Tennessee-based Haven Behavioral Healthcare, has been eagerly welcomed by mental health advocates and families of people who need treatment.

The Treasure Valley, like the rest of Idaho, has a shortage of mental health providers and hospital beds for people with serious mental illness or substance use issues.

The new hospital added 72 adult inpatient beds to the region. Before it opened, there were only about 140 beds in the Treasure Valley — including those in a small Boise hospital whose owners are going through bankruptcy.

“The growing need for safe, specialized psychiatric services in Idaho is outpacing the national rate, and we feel privileged to bring Haven’s clinically-proven approach to those who need it in Treasure Valley,” said Kathy Bolmer. Bolmer is the president and chief operating officer of Haven and announced the plans to open the hospital in a news release last year.

So far, Cottonwood Creek has seen a range of issues bringing patients through its doors at 2131 S. Bonito Way in Meridian.

Ellen Afflick, director of business development, said they’ve seen a mix of people who were suicidal, were in psychosis or were experiencing mood disorders or acute depression. The average patient is there for seven to 10 days, she said.

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Watchdog reporter Audrey Dutton joined the Statesman in 2011. Before that, she covered finance policy in Washington, D.C., during the financial crisis. She also worked as a reporter in Maryland, Minneapolis and New York. Audrey hails from Twin Falls.
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