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Inpatient Mental Health services

CAVHS’s Mental Health Service is committed to the transformation of our entire system so that hope, collaboration, respect and a holistic view of health and well-being becomes the guiding vision for all programs and staff. Veterans who use CAVHS and MHS services should be able to work with friendly, respectful, professional and collaborative persons who are committed to helping Veterans meet goals they have set for themselves in their recovery journey.

Acute inpatient mental health

Unit 3K consists of 26 beds and offers and array of recovery-oriented and Veteran-driven services.  Patients in this unit experience a wide range of severe emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems, and are unable to care or function for themselves in their social environment.  The Acute Inpatient Mental Health unit is integral to the Mental Health Service and serves approximately 1,200 Veterans per year who have disorders of such magnitude that they require intensive treatment and monitoring in a hospital setting.

The Veteran-driven healthcare plan is individualized, and is provided on a 24-hour bases by a diverse Interdisciplinary Treatment Team.  Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Medication Management 
  • Psychiatric Intensive Care
  •  Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Behavioral restraints (when absolutely necessary)
  • Recovery-oriented educational opportunities
  • Crisis intervention
  • Behavioral/emotional observation
  • Diagnosis and treatment planning

Veterans admitted to 3K are stabilized as quickly as possible, allowing for further treatment in a less restrictive and therapeutic environment.

Dual diagnosis inpatient mental health

Unit 3H consists of 30 beds and provides recovery-oriented services for Veterans with psychiatric and addiction disorders.  The unit focuses on inpatient, dual diagnosis, rehabilitation with an outpatient component.  The inpatient component consists of two individualized Psychiatric Addiction Treatment tracts that serve Veterans who have diagnoses of mental illness co-occurring with an active substance abuse problem.  The program lasts up to seven weeks, depending on Veteran needs.  The outpatient component of the program is time limited and consists of seven weekly meetings for Veterans who have completed inpatient treatment.    

Treatment takes place within an interdisciplinary team consisting of a psychiatrist, social worker, psychologist, occupational therapist, kinesio-therapist, recreational therapist, dietitian, chaplain, and 24-hour nursing care in an open ward environment.  The unit provides therapeutic interventions for behavioral issues and educational interventions to learn re-socialization and rehabilitation skills.  Veterans in the program can address both substance abuse and serious mental health issues.

Veterans treated on the Dual Diagnosis Unit can expect a safe, therapeutic environment with caring and compassionate treatment from a professional interdisciplinary team.  Veterans can learn how their mental illness interacts with substance abuse, and how they can implement new coping skills, practice re-socialization and learn safety in emotional/behavioral crisis.

 Criteria for admissions:

Veterans -- with appropriate referrals -- are accepted into this program from within this facility, local VISN 16 facilities, and other VA hospitals.

Serious mental health illness and geri-psychiatric

Unit 1H is a 22-bed unit serving the seriously mentally ill and Geri-psychiatric Veterans who are medically stable and require more than 10 days for inpatient care.  Veterans are assessed by the interdisciplinary treatment team members, and an individualized treatment plan is formulated based on the Veteran's personal goal, comorbid problems and discharge needs, which focus on assessment of ability to live independently, basic job skills and/or placement.  Stable medical problems such as diabetes or hypertension are monitored and treated and consults are requested as indicated.  The Veterans are assessed for physical and cognitive problems, receive assistance with basic daily grooming hygiene, and nutrition.  Respite care is available according to eligibility and the VA's guidelines.  

 Criteria for Admission

  • Patients have an established psychiatric illness/diagnosis
  • Patients must be free of suicidal, homicidal ideation(s).
  • Patients must be medically stable and not require care beyond basic first aid.
  • Patients must be free of the need for isolation, total bedfast/ADL care.
  • Patients must be free of tubing (IV solution, oxygen or feeding tubes).  Foleys are acceptable.

Continued Stay Criteria/Discharge Criteria

Patients are at risk of imminent deterioration in mental ability to function outside the hospital environment, based on history or psychiatric symptoms.

  • Patients require administration of treatment modalities which are either unavailable on an outpatient basis, and/or medication adjustment.
  • Patients awaiting placement, bed availability, legal issues and search for appropriate facilities.
  • Patient will be discharged when their psychiatric symptoms have improved to a point where they can be maintained in a non-hospital setting.