Showing a firm commitment to continuing to provide the services to Mineral Wells it has for four decades, Pecan Valley Centers for Behavioral and Developmental Healthcare hosted an open house and ribbon cutting Tuesday for its new facility.
In operation for a couple of months, Pecan Valley’s new home is located at 100 Travis Drive at U.S. Highway 180 West, near the city’s hospital and medical district. The brick facility is 7,000 square feet in size and cost $1.2 million to build.
It is a far cry from its previous smaller and outdated locations at Wolters Industrial Park and near a medical office near PPGH.
“We are debt free,” said Coke Beatty, Pecan Valley Centers executive director. “We did this over the last 10 years. We had a plan to increase our building fund each year until it reached a limit to purchase the land and the facility debt free.”
Pecan Valley Centers began in 1976, a time when under state law mental health organizations could finance the construction or purchase of facilities.
Beatty said Pecan Valley Centers created a separate building facility board that could obtain loans and build facilities to needed specifications. That board then leases the facility back to Pecan Valley Centers.
“They only exist for Pecan Valley,” Beatty explained. “It is a non-profit board that exists solely to build facilities for Pecan Valley. It has worked very well. That is how we did this.”
Pecan Valley Centers also provides mental health services in Stephenville, Granbury, Cleburne, Weatherford and Glen Rose, and each has had new facilities built in recent years.
Janice Byrd, Pecan Valley’s clinical manager for Mineral Wells, said while Mineral Wells was last to get a new facility, she said it now has the nicest one.
Byrd said the local facility has a patient caseload of close to 500 people, including 69 juveniles. The new office has about 14 people staff members, including licensed counselors, a psychiatrist, advanced nurse practitioner and case managers. They provide out-patient services at the facility and also see patients requiring more intensive care through in-home visits
“Without our services people would be in jail, they would be homeless or they would be institutionalized like at Wichita Falls State Hospital,” Beatty said. “Out-patient services work, and that is what we are. Out-patient services are much more cost-effective than in-patient services.”
Pecan Valley is not a residential treatment facility. Their services allow their clients to live within the community while receiving treatment and care. Their clients came through self-referrals, doctors, Texas Department of Family Protective Services, schools, court referrals and jails.
“We are the front doors in Texas to the institutions,” Beatty said. “To gain access to the institutions they go through the local mental health authority, which is what we are. So we do the proper assessments, the proper contacts with those institutions. So if there are any commitments or legal actions that need to occur we take care of that to make sure that is done.”
Funded by the state as a unit of government, though its staff are not state employees, Pecan Valley Centers and similar local mental health agencies deal most commonly with cases of schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, schizo-effective disorder. They also work with people with individual developmental disabilities.
Pecan Valley also provides alcohol and substance abuse services since those issues are often intertwined with mental health disorders.
“Some are temporary situations, it just kind of depends,” Beatty said. “We deal with a lot of major depression. It’s not just the feeling of a sad level of depression. It is major depression. They can’t function. They have had a job loss or a housing loss because of their depression. So it’s severe. Some of them are able to recover within a couple of years and get on medication and be fine. Some, not so much. Schizophrenia is a life-long disease. Bi-polar is as well.”
“We provide support and services to allow them to function and live within the community,” said Beatty. “They tend to not go to jail if they are in our services and then tend to not go to in-patient psychiatric care once they get in our services.”
For more information about Pecan Valley Centers go to https://www.pecanvalley.org/. Their 24-hour crisis hotline and intake screening phone number is 1-800-772-5987.