Florida’s first neuropsychiatric hospital for women will be built in Tampa.
Women in trauma recovery often face challenges that disproportionately impact their gender, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, postpartum depression and anxiety, said Roaya Tyson, CEO of the behavioral health nonprofit Gracepoint Wellness.
The new facility will allow those patients to speak freely among other women about their experiences and access trauma-informed care.
The Mariposa Women’s Neuropsychiatric Hospital will be a 24-bed facility located at Gracepoint’s campus in East Seminole Heights. It’s set to open in summer 2023 and will cost up to $5 million to build. A federal funding package will provide $2 million towards the cost of construction, while Gracepoint will fund the rest.
The federal government invited members of congress to submit community projects this year for direct funding, said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. Gracepoint proposed the facility to Castor about a year ago to help address the nation’s mental health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I hear over and over again,” Castor said, “people need a safe place to go, and there is not a place for women.”
In Gracepoint Wellness’ adult crisis stabilization unit in Tampa, men and women sleep in separate quarters but share a common space for group therapy and activities. A survey of female patients underscored the need for their own recovery space.
Tyson hopes most, if not all, the staffers at the women’s neuropsychiatric hospital will be women. The staff will be trained to lead therapy discussions about kinds of trauma that disproportionately affect women.
She said the new facility also intends to create a safe space for women who are recovering from traumas of assault or abuse by men and may be triggered by the presence of other men.
The hospital will take any female patient, Tyson said, regardless of income or insurance status. Nonbinary people can also choose to stay in the hospital if there are beds available.
Patients can either request a bed or be committed under the Baker Act, a state law used to involuntarily commit individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
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