R.I. Open Beds helps identify mental health and detox services

R.I. Open Beds helps identify mental health and detox services

As a way to help people, including caregivers and providers, access mental health and substance use treatment services for patients who need them, the state has launched a website, riopenbeds.org , states an announcement from the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals. 

On the site, users can search by provider or bed type and see how many beds are available and how many individuals, if any, are waiting for particular types of beds. Providers are asked to update their information and keep it current. 

“This represents a tremendous step forward, one that will help individuals and providers access essential services, and one that will help us gauge as a state how well we are meeting the demand for these services,” Kathryn Power, director of BHDDH, said in a statement. “The website is a powerful tool, and we want advocates and the public to know it is there.”

The General Assembly had passed a bill, sponsored by Sen. Joshua Miller, that called for a real-time database of available substance use treatment and recovery services, and thus prompted the department to create this site, states the press release. 
Demand for these services had already been rising due to the ongoing opioid epidemic, but demand increased last year as the COVID-19 pandemic caused more individuals to seek help for mental health and substance use. 

The BHDDH created the website with help from a grant from the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, which allowed the department to make a website that’s easy to update and can eventually transition to automated updates.