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What Is a Psychiatric Hospital, and How do I Choose the Right Facility?

Psychiatric hospital, hospital, mental health, doctor, patient, treatment, therapy

What Is Behavioral Health Care and Who Needs It?

Behavioral Care is an array of medical services provided to patients suffering from mental illness, substance use disorders (SUD), or displaying a pattern or intent to inflict harm on themselves or others. According to research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least 20% of American adults have struggled with mental illness (that figure is from 2019, which has surged since then by a starting 25% worldwide according to the World Health Organization). In fact, in April of 2021, just halfway through the health emergency, the National Institute of Mental Health reported rates of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts or attempts had nearly doubled when compared to pre-pandemic data. So, what is a psychiatric hospital and how can it help?

A Psychiatric Hospital, or an Acute Care Hospital – like Palms Behavioral Health – is a place of refuge and recovery where every patient is kept safe from themselves, under the caring observation of trained support staff, psychiatrists, and internal medicine doctors. Each of these distinct groups devotes their lives to curb the affliction millions struggle with based on the stats above. While these facilities go by several names (e.g., Behavioral Health Units, Psych Wards, or Intensive Inpatient Facilities) they exist for the exclusive purpose to provide therapy, counseling, and intervention to stay the scourge of these conditions.

Basics of Psych Care in a Psychiatric Hospital

Psychiatry is a distinct discipline of medicine that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and managing emotional and behavioral disorders. The significant advantage of receiving psych care in a controlled environment is every tool and technique is used in a scientifically structured way to accomplish patient rehabilitation. Patients in a mental hospital receive supervised, organized, and personalized thorough care intended to shorten their stays and maximize their healing. The skillful staff personally works with and for the betterment of their patient, creating an individualized treatment protocol, and sharing the plan and progress with credentialed colleagues and pre-authorized (by the patient) family members.

Demystifying Psych-Wards

Are Psychiatric Wards dangerous? What kind of tests are performed? What does the facility look like inside? While behavioral hospitals might seem to be shrouded in mystery, most (if not all) of that mystique is generated by a long series of sensationalized cinema. Touting names like Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Jack Nicholson, and their contemporaries, there’s been a longstanding misinformation campaign through these sensationalized portrayals. While the silver screen has never been the torchbearer of factual reality, the influence it exerts over how we perceive the world is widespread. By separating fact from fiction, and abandoning Hollywood’s hype, these questions can be definitively answered.

Each question is important and serves a valuable function to supply a foundation of understanding. While we can’t speak to the variations in care and competencies at other clinics, we can share trusted and verified accurate practices on PBH’s Acute Care Facility.

Answers and Insight Regarding a Psychiatric Hospital

So, are psychiatric wards dangerous? No, they are not. Our patients are both less of a harm to others and themselves within the scope of specialized and watchful care from our trained Acute providers than they would be in a traditional emergency room. Our uncompromising quality control for a patient’s support is as devoted to recovery as it is committed to safety.

What kinds of tests are performed? This, like everything at our Acute mental and behavioral care facilities, is entirely custom and tailored for each individual within our diligent care regimen. Our internal medicine doctor works hand-in-glove with our board-certified psychiatrist and pharmacist to collaborate, strategize, and enact crucial care that our patients deserve. When it comes to the resources at our disposal, our psychiatric hospital is outfitted with cutting-edge technical and pharmaceutical equipment, intervention techniques, and an underway plan to expand our treatment specialties. Also, our South Texas Acute care location is interconnected to a unified national structure of renowned experts and an unmatched collective of multi-disciplinary experts we can consult with. Our physician-led care initiatives provide intensive individualized testing to evaluate progress, such as blood lab testing, physical exams, psychological evaluation, family health history assessment, and neural diagnostic imaging, among others.

What does a mental hospital look like inside? Far from the pervasive misconception of flickering lights and padded rooms, behavioral health hospitals look, feel, and function much like any other hospital. The difference (and advantage) is that PBH’s specific purpose is to heal the mind, rather than setting broken bones or treating burn wounds. The inside of a mental health institution has a calm albeit clinical aesthetic, focusing more on rehabilitating the patients than art, decor, and interior design. Patient rooms are very tidy, and we’ve made great efforts to provide a warm welcoming atmosphere while maintaining safety, and cleanliness – fulfilling our mission to protect patients within a structured care setting. Something unique about PBH is our facility has a southwestern construction aesthetic, providing a beautiful backdrop to your rehabilitative stay.

Preparing for Your Assessment and Stay at Palms Behavioral Health

Once you’re ready for observation and recovery, here’s what to bring (and not bring) to a psychiatric hospital to enhance the effectiveness of your inpatient therapy.

The most urgent thing to bring is yourself. While incidentals like hygiene products and personal effects are important, permitted items can always be brought to you or otherwise arranged by loved ones working with our support staff. Practically speaking, your observational stay at Palms Behavioral Health Acute mental hospital will feel more comfortable and be more productive if you bring (and don’t bring) the following items:

  • Several changes of clothes (including underwear, socks, and sleeping clothes)
    • Note: Underwire bras are not permitted
  • A pair of slip-on shoes (no laces, or steel-toed boots)
  • Seasonal clothing (jacket, gloves, etc.) if it’s cold outside

Do not bring the following items:

  • Any aerosol products (ex. hairspray) or products with alcohol (ex. mouthwash)
  • Batteries, belts, scarves, blankets, pillows, or shaving products
  • Sweatpants or hoodies with drawstrings
  • Charger cords, cameras, cell phones, laptops, or anything with a glass screen
  • Drugs (prescription or otherwise)
    • Note: Bring your insurance card and doctor’s office info if possible
  • Food or beverages
  • Wallet, purse, money, plastic bags, weapons, stuffed animals, video games

Is an Acute Psych Treatment Facility Right for You, or a Loved One?

This is a serious consideration that should be arrived at with conviction, the agents of reason from your close trusted loved ones, and your physician or psychiatrist’s guidance. This decision is one that demands utmost resolve, remembering that everyone directly or indirectly involved in your life (including yourself) wants the best outcome. At a qualified psychiatric hospital or mental health facility, like Palms Behavioral Health, our patient advocacy, protection, and healing efforts apply to every individual that enters our facilities. If you’ve been having suicidal thoughts, self-destructive behavior, experiencing psychotic episodes (inability to clearly differentiate between reality and fantasy), or exhibiting violent tendencies, please call or come to our Acute therapy hospital.

Before Admission and After Discharge, Our Psychiatric Hospital Is Here for You

At Palms Behavioral Health, our guiding goal is the provision of focused treatment for individuals and families within and beyond our Harlingen, Texas community. With our accredited continuum of professional psychological care and physicians, we implement every solution possible to address your mental health needs. We treat our patients with dignity, preserving their humanity and elevating their quality of life. Compassionate competent care in a highly effective evidence-based treatment of trauma leads to a corrective course of action without losing sight of the struggles our patients face.

We would be honored to face, and overcome, these struggles with you. You can receive a qualified mental health no-cost assessment 24/7 on-site without an appointment, at 613 Victoria Lane, Harlingen, Texas 78550. Alternatively, also at no cost, you may call our dedicated mental and behavioral assessment line at (888) 979-1288 and speak with someone who will intently listen and provide the necessary next steps.

Your journey to recovery doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be alone. At this psychiatric hospital our team will fully invest in your stabilization and recovery, from admission to 6-months following discharge. The combined life work of our care unit at Palms Behavioral Health is steadfast toward seeing others heal, improve, and advance their quality of ongoing wellness.

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