Based on feedback we received from the public, we’ve made recommendations to the Governor’s Office and State Legislature for possible enhancements to programs at the Arizona State Hospital (ASH).

In 2022, the Arizona State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1444, which required the Arizona State Hospital to develop a clinical improvement and human resource plan with recommendations for potential expansion and enhancement opportunities to improve services for patients and residents admitted to ASH. In order to complete this plan, the hospital solicited input from various community stakeholders with lived experience, either personal or professional, in navigating Arizona’s public behavioral health system and interfacing with ASH. The feedback we received was very valuable in helping us to complete this process.

The Hospital identified multiple options available to the State, should it elect to add to the hospital’s programs in the future, ranging from adding clinical staff with the expertise to provide additional evidence-based treatment methods; increasing the allowable bed capacity to accommodate more psychiatric patients on the Civil Campus, which specializes in providing services to patients who are civilly committed; developing a ‘step-down’ reintegration facility for civil patients; and building a separate free-standing facility on the hospital’s campus specifically designed to address patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities, dementia, autism and/or significant personality disorders, as well as those with severe substance abuse and addiction disorders. 

Our plan was transmitted to the Governor’s Office, members of the State Legislature, and posted on our website on Sept. 1, 2023. 

On behalf of the Department of Health Services, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the development of this plan, as well as the numerous community stakeholders who provided their incredible insights and suggestions for future improvements.