Plea for Mental Hospital

To the editor:

I am a psychiatrist working in Gilbert, and I am very much in support of the Saguaro Springs mental-health hospital at San Tan Village Parkway and Boston Street. As of right now, patients must drive to Tempe to find a facility offering adult inpatient services, which can be an insurmountable obstacle for this vulnerable population.

Opposition to this hospital seems to be directed toward “protecting children from the mentally ill patients” that will be receiving treatment in Gilbert. How can one argue that we will make our children and families safer by refusing to treat mental illness in our community?

We already have mental illness in Gilbert. Ignoring it does not make us safer. I will do my best to serve the community's needs, but there are many patients that will require more intensive treatment than I am able to provide in an outpatient setting. I implore the town of Gilbert to let this hospital be built.

— Jason Friday, M.D.
     Redemption Psychiatry CEO,
     Gilbert Arizona


AZCentral excerpt