Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital and Institute

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Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital and Institute
Opened 1961
Current Status Active
Building Style Single Building
Location Chattanooga, TN
Alternate Names


Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute was established by the Tennessee State Legislature as one of five regional inpatient psychiatric facilities operated by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health. Opened in 1961, the facility now serves a 23 county area in Upper Cumberland and southeast regions of Tennessee, with an estimated population of over 750,000 people.

MBMHI was built on land donated by Hamilton County and the City of Chattanooga. The grounds, nestled at the foot of scenic Lookout Mountain and next to the Tennessee River, provide a private, rural setting close to a metropolitan area.

The land on which the complex is located is of historical importance, having once been part of the Cherokee Nation, and the site of a Civil War battle. The remains of an ancient Native American village were recently discovered and portions of the Moccasin Bend area are now part of the Chattanooga/Chickamauga National Park.

MBMHI currently offers 100 adult acute care and 50 adult sub-acute care beds. All emergency involuntary admissions are prescreened by a mandatory pre-screening agent from one of the four regional private, non-profit community mental health centers (or by a physician or psychologist, if a mandatory pre-screening agent is not available within 2 hours), and are referred to the institute if inpatient treatment is necessary. The community mental health centers have crisis response teams, which work closely with the institute's admissions office to assure appropriateness of referrals, an efficient and compassionate admissions process, and compliance with managed care requirements for admission certification.