Thursday, December 25, 2008

Local psychiatric beds 'work' in terms of diminishing mental health emergency admissions: WHAT WE'VE FORGOTTEN

Nick Stratus, MD, a psychiatrist in eastern NC, was formerly the director of mental health services in NC...back in the 1960's/ 1970's. He is weighing in re: the use of local hospital beds which have been set up as associated w/ Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, NC, next to Wayesville NC. It services Haywood county in western NC.

How we got so far away from that is amazing to me. We seem to stupidly re-invent the wheel about every 1.5 generations (with a generation being 20 years).

This is what he stated re: the matter of local psychiatric beds and how it worked back then:

"This definitely works!

In the late 1960s and early 1979s I with the support of Governor Bob Scott at that time adapted a systems approach and analysis of the southcentral region's 20 counties launched a regional - local based treatment program for substance abusers as an alternative to building a 4th state Treatment facility as existed in Butner for the Northcentral,, Greenville for the East and Black Mountain for the West. We were successful in developing local detox units and significantly decreasing admissions to state institutions and avoided completely the building of yet another treatment center.

Ultimately we came to have not only inpatient units in general hospitals Lumberton (4 counties), Fayetteville (2 counties), Pinehurst (5 counties), Sanford (2 counties), Johnston (1 county), psych beds in 3 of the other counties leaving 3 with only Dix, but also outpatient, 24/7,emergency, day hospital, consultation-education and inpatient for all 20 - Three of those programs covering 10 counties actually stopped admissions to Dix totally.


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