Centra Psychiatric Emergency Center to open in 2015

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Centra Mental Health Services is opening a new Psychiatric Emergency Center that has been developed in collaboration with Horizon Behavioral Health and the Lynchburg Police Department. The Center offers a safe, private and therapeutic space, apart from the main emergency room, which is open 24 hours a day. It provides one convenient and accessible location for area citizens experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis. The Center is the only one of its kind in the region.

Patients experiencing a mental health crisis will be assessed in the Lynchburg General Hospital Emergency Department, have their medical needs treated and then moved with dignity to the Psychiatric Emergency Center. Once there, they will receive timely and appropriate direct care by providers that are trained in treating mental health crises.

The Center houses Centra and Horizon clinicians who provide psychiatric assessments, treatment and referral for clients transported to the Center by Lynchburg-Central Virginia’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and others who are voluntarily seeking help. The CIT is composed of specially trained police officers who are able to identify people in mental health crisis and divert them from incarceration into appropriate treatment. CIT is advantageous to all community members because law enforcement officers have more time to tend to other public safety needs.

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In addition to the initial assessment, collaborative care is provided by a team of professionals from all three partners and includes psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, licensed clinicians, psychiatric nurses, mental health professionals, CIT trained officers, peer counselors and an intake team.

Horizon has received $387,000 in grant funding from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to provide CIT services at the Emergency Center, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Last fiscal year that service was only offered 12 hours a day.

The Center manages referrals to Horizon Behavioral Health and Centra’s mental health services including the acute inpatient programs for children/adolescents, adults and geriatric patients at Virginia Baptist Hospital, Piedmont Psychiatric Center and Centra’s Addiction & Recovery Services.

“Mental illness is highly prevalent and fewer than half of people receive treatment, said Ted Stryker, Vice President of Centra Mental Health Services. “The psychiatric emergency center will remove one more barrier to people getting help.”

For more call (434) 200-4444.