BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Local and state leaders held a community meeting to address concerns about a ‘dangerous’ mental hospital moving to North Baton Rouge.

The facility location would be inside the Central Specialty Plaza, placed in the Glen Oaks neighborhood next to Forest Heights Academy of Excellence and down the street from Glen Oaks High School.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, documents explained that the 118-bed facility would house those who have “persistent mental illnesses who require increased supervision.”

However, due to community outcry, The Harmony Behavioral Health Center has decided not to move ‘dangerous’ adults into a facility in North Baton Rouge.

A statement was made by the company saying:

Last week, Harmony Behavioral Health Center administrators were informed of a planned community meeting regarding opening its facility at 7414 Sumrall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After much discussion, prayer, and consideration of the community’s concerns, Harmony Behavioral Health Center has made the decision not to place patients directly transferred from East Louisiana Mental Health System at 7414 Sumrall. We have continued to listen to the community and stakeholders. As such, we convened a meeting with area elected officials before concluding that this decision may be in the best interest of everyone affected. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our patients, staff, and neighbors. Access to inpatient behavioral care is a challenge nationally and at the state level. Last year, the Louisiana Department of Health Launched an initiative to expand inpatient behavioral care. The Harmony Center will continue to address the mental health needs of our citizens as we have done for over 40 years. As more information becomes available, we will provide updates.

Harmony Behavioral Health Center spokesperson

Regarding the statement, the community was left concerned about how this event was approved in the first place. Leaders and residents decided to come up with solutions on how to prevent this from happening to other neighborhoods in the area.

“That was not the type of mental health that we need next door to our schools and within a certain distance,” said Councilman Darryl Hurst, District 5.

“We don’t mind the mental health component, but we would like some input on what it is,” said Christopher Richard, President of the Glen Oaks Area neighborhood.

Councilman Hurst says he’s currently working on new zoning proposals to prevent this from happening in his district.

“Facilities like these, need to be a mile away from schools and half a mile from high residential areas,” stated Hurst.

According to State Senator Regina Barrow of District 15, she mentions if plans change, another meeting will be held in February or March.