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Planned expansion will double beds for mental health treatment in Klamath County

A one-story beige building with a parking lot in front. A sign on the left says "Klamath Basin Behavioral Health, Phoenix Place (arrow pointing to the left), Visitor parking (left or right)"
Klamath Basin Behavioral Health
Phoenix Place, a long and short-term mental health treatment center run by Klamath Basin Behavioral Health in Klamath Falls. The vacant lots are adjacent to Phoenix Place.

Klamath County’s behavioral health program is expanding with a grant from the Oregon Health Authority. The expansion will include a new 24/7 crisis care center.

Klamath County finalized the transfer of vacant land in Klamath Falls to Klamath Basin Behavioral Health last week.

The donation, along with a $2.6 million dollar grant from OHA, will kickstart the construction of a brand new 16-bed long-term mental health treatment center.

Additionally, the new building will host a four-bed crisis receiving center, which is intended to reduce the burden on local hospitals and jails.

“When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, they are not always needing hospital care,” said KBBH Communications Director Abbie McClung. “And so diverting people out of hospital and corrections systems to a mental health facility, that is the goal for the four-bed crisis receiving center.”

The new building will be located next to the current treatment facility for KBBH, Phoenix Place, which hosts long- and short-term beds. McClung said this expansion will double the number of both.

“The current capacity of eight beds respite and eight beds residential, and zero beds for crisis receiving is simply not enough to meet the need in Klamath County,” McClung said. “So this increased capacity will help us meet that need.”

The expansion will take place on two vacant lots, which McClung said have been vacant for two decades. She added the land is restricted to mental health treatment through a 2009 state grant.

McClung said this is the only service of its kind in the county. The addition of crisis care beds corresponds with the rollout of 988, the new nationwide mental health crisis line.

KBBH plans on breaking ground on the expansion this year, and plan on opening in 2024.

Roman Battaglia is a regional reporter for Jefferson Public Radio. After graduating from Oregon State University, Roman came to JPR as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism in 2019. He then joined Delaware Public Media as a Report For America fellow before returning to the JPR newsroom.