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Freedom Behavioral Marksville, a recently opened in-patient geriatric-psychiatric unit, is located in a former wing of Colonial Nursing Home in Marksville. Avoyelles Hospital spent $450,000 to renovate the building. It has a long-term lease with Colonial.
{Photo courtesy of Tim Curry}

Avoyelles Hospital opens Freedom Behavioral mental health unit

12-bed in-patient facility located in wing of Colonial Nursing Home

Freedom Behavioral Marksville is the latest addition to Avoyelles Hospital’s array of health care services.

Hospital CEO Tim Curry said a wing of Colonial Nursing Home was converted into a 12-bed in-patient geriatric psychiatric center to improve area residents’ access to important mental health treatment.

The project cost $450,000. Freedom Behavioral opened its doors on July 1 and has been busy ever since, Curry said. The center will hold a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony in the near future.

The hospital has a long-term lease with the owners of Colonial to house the “geri-psych” unit there.

The unit is only available for patients 50 years old and older.

“This is a unit of our hospital,” Curry said. “It’s just as if it were a second floor of the hospital, it is just located at the Colonial site.”

Curry said he had noticed many patients being seen in the ER had psychiatric-related illnesses that could not be treated locally.

“We wanted to provide those services in their community,” Curry said. “We don’t want these individuals to have to drive an hour or longer when we could offer those services here.”

Freedom Behavioral has a staff of two psychiatrists, two physicians and several RNs and LPNs to serve its patients while they are in the center.

While this unit is limited to older patients, Curry said the hospital is studying how to expand out-patient mental health treatment for children and adults at one of its rural health clinics.

“Mental health care is a much-needed service here,” Curry said. “Avoyelles Hospital is committed to providing quality services in all areas of health care and will continue to expand those health care offerings in the future.”

AVOYELLES JOURNAL
BUNKIE RECORD
MARKSVILLE WEEKLY

105 N Main St
Marksville, LA 71351
(318) 253-9247