Expanded mental health center to open here

HARLINGEN — The Rio Grande Valley’s limited treatment options for people with mental health issues led to a decision by Strategic Behavior Health to tear up its construction plans and enlarge the hospital it already is building in Harlingen.

SBH, based in Memphis, was well along in the construction of a 72-bed facility at 613 Victoria Lane. Now, the plan is for a $13 million, 94-bed facility that is expected to open by Oct. 1.

Landing the new medical facility is a major addition to the city’s growing importance as a health care center in the region. ValleyBaptistMedicalCenter and HarlingenMedicalCenter are the major hospitals already in the city.

The decision by SBH to build a facility in Harlingen also was a major accomplishment for the Harlingen Economic Development Corp. New medical facilities may not be National Football League franchises, but the competition between cities for these hospitals can be pretty intense.

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