Banner Thunderbird

With an increasing need for behavioral health care in the Valley and around the country, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center recently completed a new 12-bed inpatient pediatric behavioral health unit for patients ages 5 to 12.

Banner medical experts have noted that in Arizona and across the country, there has been a significant increase in pediatric behavioral health cases at hospitals. This increase is in pediatric patients under 13-years-old and over 13. While the trend predates the COVID-19 pandemic, it has accelerated in the past year.

Because of the need for more psychiatry beds in the Valley, Banner Behavioral Health Hospital also increased its bed count from 16 to 40 beds for patients over 13 in the last few years. But children younger than the age of 13 typically have the longest stays in emergency departments and continue to be an underserved patient population. This new unit will help alleviate that strain for emergency departments and create better care for these young patients as a result.

“I know that this will have a dramatic effect on the lives of these children and their families, and we are proud to offer this service that is so greatly needed in our community,” said Banner Behavioral Health CEO Bill Southwick.

Construction was recently finished for the unit, which will begin accepting patients later in August.