MASON CITY, Iowa — A northern Iowa hospital plans to construct a $9.78 million building to serve more behavioral health patients.

Officials from Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason announced details about the 27,200-square-foot facility Wednesday, the Globe Gazette reported .

Senior vice president of Mercy Clinics, Dr. Theresa Mock, said the hospital can usually see just over 20 patients at a time in its behavior health center. The new facility will have space for more than 30 behavior health service patients.

Mock said the hospital had to turn away 3,000 patients last year because of resource shortages.

“Our goal is to not turn anyone away in the state of Iowa,” Mock said.

The new facility will have two levels that divide inpatient and outpatient services. The first floor will house the intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs, while the second floor will feature 24 private rooms, a group therapy room and a dining room.

The project will be funded by donations from the Jan Again Foundation and through a reinvestment of the hospital’s funds and capital.

The foundation was created in 1999 in honor of Jan Smeby, who dealt with depression and took her own life in 1998. The foundation has contributed $900,000 to the project. Those funds will be used to build the new facility’s Help Center, which will provide general information and community resources about mental health.

The foundation also gave the hospital’s mental health and wellness program $68,000 in grants in September.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall and is expected to be completed by 2019.

Information from: Globe Gazette,

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