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Salem Hospital opens Adult Mental Health Unit: Unit extends Emergency Department mental health service

Photo Caption: (L) Dr. Phillip Rice, Jr., Chair of Emergency Medicine and (R) Dr. Mark Schechter, Chair of Psychiatry cut the ribbon Oct. 27 to open the Adult Mental Health Unit at Salem Hospital, which will provide emergency mental health care to local patients. Drs. Rice and Schechter are joined by hospital leaders including President David Roberts, Vice Presidents of Operations Roxanne Ruppel and Mary Jo Gagnon, and Chief Nursing Officer Kevin Inman, RN, MSN.


To meet the growing demands of North Shore patients, provide a more therapeutic care environment and help reduce wait times in the Emergency Department, Salem Hospital will open an Acute Mental Health Unit (AMU) on Friday, October 28. This 16-bed unit will provide care for adult emergency behavioral health patients. The unit is an extension of the behavioral health pod in the main Salem Hospital Emergency Department.

The demand for behavioral health care has steadily increased over the past several years and this new unit increases the hospital’s capacity to meet that need. The unit will be staffed by mental health professionals working closely with colleagues in the hospital’s Epstein Center for Behavioral Health, which provides inpatient mental health care to pediatric, adult and senior patients.

Salem Hospital shares a commitment with Mass General Brigham to address the mental health needs of the North Shore community.

“It is encouraging to see so much support for mental health care among our own physicians and staff as well as the leadership of the Mass General Brigham system,” says Mark Schechter, MD, Chair of Psychiatry at Salem Hospital. “When patients are having a mental health crisis, our ability to offer a soothing and therapeutic environment is vital to compassionate and effective care. ”

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About Salem Hospital

Salem Hospital is a member of Mass General Brigham, an academic healthcare system founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital that is uniting great minds to make life-changing impact for patients in local communities and around the world. Serving the North Shore community for more than 100 years, Salem Hospital provides innovative medical, surgical and psychiatric care through an array of inpatient, outpatient and virtual settings including Salem Hospital, the Epstein Center for Behavioral Health, North Shore Physicians Group and a medical staff of nearly 700 physicians practicing in a wide range of specialties. For more information, please visit For information about Mass General Brigham, visit