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Our History

Experience and Caring

With more than 40 years of experience and dedication to mental health care, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center provides both psychiatric and substance abuse services. With 124 licensed beds, the Center offers a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment options for children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

  • 1969 – St. Luke’s Behavioral Health opens on the 3rd floor of St. Luke’s Medical Center. The Behavioral Health Unit first began with a total of 34 beds with 24 beds for adult patients with mental health issues and six beds for the treatment of patients with alcohol issues. Outpatient services begin as well. The Behavioral Health unit opens thanks to grant money from the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • 1970 – Using grant money from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health increases from six to 15 beds for the treatment of alcoholism.
  • 1971 – The Chemical Dependency unit opens in the St. Luke’s Hospital Garden Pavilion, marking a movement from the treatment of alcoholism to the treatment of additional addictions. The new unit has 24 beds while the mental health unit on the 3rd floor grows to 34 beds for patients with mental health issues.
  • 1972 – St. Luke’s Behavioral Health continues to grow, adding 34 beds for mental health patients and an increase to 30 beds for chemical dependency. The mental health unit has 68 percent of beds filled while the chemical dependency unit has 90 percent of the beds in use.
  • 1974 – Donald Damstra, MD is added to the medical staff of St. Luke’s Behavioral Health. Dr. Damstra is the fourth certified addictionologist in the United States.
  • 1974 – St.Luke’s Behavioral Health opens their first adolescent treatment unit. Starting with 10 beds, there was a waiting list prior to opening.
  • 1975 – St. Luke’s Hospital becomes the first general hospital in the nation to be granted accreditation by the Joint Commission for psychiatry and alcoholism treatment.
  • 1977 – St. Luke’s Behavioral Health opens a pain and stress clinic and expands its services to include the treatment of children.
  • 1979 – St. Luke’s Behavioral Health begins planning for a 150-bed facility to be located on the St. Luke’s Medical Center Campus.
  • 1980 – Ground was broken on the future 150-bed facility. Average length of stay is now 20 days and the Behavioral Health unit has 83 percent of their beds filled.
  • 1981 – St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center opens in their new location on the St. Luke’s Medical Center campus. The new Center includes 84 beds for the treatment of chemical dependency, 48 beds for children and adolescents, 22 beds for adult psychiatry and 116 beds for patients with chronic pain.
  • 1984 – St. Luke’s Behavioral Health opens an eating disorders clinic. This clinic was one of the first to merge both a medical model and psychiatric model in the treatment of eating disorders.
  • The Northwest Phoenix Outpatient site, on 24th Avenue and Peoria opened.
  • 1989 – The Outpatient Day Hospital program begins, now known as Partial Hospitalization. Of 150 beds, average daily patient count is 124.
  • 1990 – 1999 – With the shortened length of stays, many program changes are made, including moving from longer term treatment in the inpatient Chemical Dependency program to offering detoxification services.
  • 2004 – The Momentum program, specializing in outpatient treatment of patients with serious mental illness, begins.
  • 2007 – Adult inpatient units expands. Generations, St. Luke’s mental health program for seniors, moves from the medical center to the Behavioral Health Center. Total inpatient beds are now 124.

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Official Healthcare Partner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury

1800 E. Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

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