GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services has recently opened a new inpatient and residential psychiatric services unit for people who have both behavioral health concerns and COVID-19.

In November, Pine Rest began a rapid effort to renovate existing space on its Cutlerville Campus on 68th Street SE.

Officials say the new Special Care Unit uses a unique design and negative air pressure to create a space to provide psychiatric care for asymptotic people or folks with mild COVID-19 symptoms.

The facility opened its first eight-bed pod in December. The organization also plans to open its next renovated 10-bed COVID-positive adult foster care space sometime this month. In addition, crews are also renovating two other pods.

“We have a dedicated unit that has dedicated air-handling systems, it’s not circulating throughout the other buildings. We have great psychiatric nursing staff, psychiatrists, all of the essential needs for these individuals and they’re seen in person,” said Heather Treib, director of operations for hospital based services for Pine Rest.

When completed, the unit will have four independent, self-contained pods. When operating at full capacity, the unit can treat 24 general psychiatric patients and 10 adult foster care patients, the organization said.

“(It) has been really difficult to find appropriate care for these individuals because they’re not quite symptomatic enough to be able to be in a medical facility but they definitely not psychiatrically stable enough to be home so this is the solution for our community,” Treib said.

Pine Rest said it’s partnering directly with the state to address both the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented demand for mental health services in the state.