By KEITH DAVIS
The Logan Banner
LOGAN, W.Va. — During the first week of October, Logan Mingo Area Mental Health (LMAMH) announced the opening of the area’s first 16-bed Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) at their Logan campus at Three Mile Curve.
According to the representatives of the agency, the new CSU offers a greater level of care for area citizens: services include mental health stabilization and treatment, as well as drug and alcohol detoxification, for southern West Virginians in need.
Donna Cooke, CEO of LMAMH, described the handsome new 16-bed unit as “the first facility of its kind in Logan and Mingo Counties,” adding that it is “like an ER for mental illness and drug addiction”-offering a comprehensive array of medical and therapeutic services designed to professionally stabilize the conditions of consumers suffering from acute or severe psychiatric symptoms, or experiencing substance abuse and related crises. Cooke says that the opening of the new CSU at the Logan Center completes an important link in the comprehensive substance abuse continuum of care, which will greatly aid residents and their families of Logan and Mingo Counties as they work through the vicious challenges and struggles of addiction. “This has been a major step for our agency-a necessary move to better assist citizens within the borders of Logan and Mingo Counties.”
The unit provides 24-hour ongoing assessment and observation, crisis intervention, and treatment of substance abuse and co-occurring issues. Kristy Workman, RN, program manager for the CSU, described the unit as “a hospital diversion for West Virginia residents, age 18 years and older.” She added that the newly remodeled section which houses the operation features two private rooms, with additional rooms designed to be shared by consumers, depending upon the situation. “Consumers who come to the CSU have the opportunity to stay in a safe environment. Admission is totally voluntary-but residents who choose to come to our facility must agree to abide by and participate in our counseling and assessment processes,” she added.
Any person who is experiencing a mental health crisis or severe psychological disturbance could be eligible for CSU services. For instance, this might include someone who has been diagnosed with mental illness in the past, but no longer takes prescribed medications and is in distress. “In such cases, we want to intervene as early as possible to try to keep the person from being hospitalized-or to aid in his or her stabilization before a mental hygiene is petitioned,” Workman said. The CSU can accept only men and women who are deemed medically stable upon admission or have received medical clearance from an emergency room. This could also include those who are stepping down from an inpatient facility and need continued monitoring and treatment, since they are not yet ready to head home and live independently.
“At the LMAMH CSU, we also offer a medically supervised drug detoxification program-or detox-for those who want to get clean from drug and alcohol addiction,” Workman added. “Since the detox process is intense, and because addiction itself is a disease that does monumental damage to the brain, our clients are judiciously treated with medication through the process to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings.” Additionally, detox participants will undergo professional counseling and instructional sessions to learn new ways of processing thought patterns-while also learning methodologies for getting back on track once and for all. “During treatment, compliant patients will gain a sense of renewed structure in their lives, while discovering reintroduced hope and optimism in a future that includes sobriety and a brand new start,” Workman emphasized.
The overall goal of the CSU is to first stabilize individuals who are in crisis or calamity, and then further help them find the follow-up care that they need. “Follow-up could mean that they are eventually accepted into the highly effective LMAMH Anchor Point 28-day residential program at Delbarton,” Workman emphasized. “In other situations, clients may be referred to one of our Intensive Service outpatient eight-week programs, like Pivot Point or R.I.S.E.; or, if necessary, the staff can assist the client by seeking other appropriate services that are outside our agency.”
“In emergency situations, our facility accepts patients who may have had dark thoughts of hurting themselves or others, although they have not yet acted upon these thoughts,” Workman explained. “Especially in such cases, we assign staff on a one-to-one ratio, whereby they are carefully monitored around the clock to keep them stable and safe. During the process, one of our medical providers will evaluate the patient and decide as to whether the person can continue in our program and receive appropriate treatment, or should be transported to a hospital or another facility.”
“We are honored to have a kind, compassionate, and nonjudgmental staff; and we are all about second chances here,” Workman stressed. “It is especially unique that, at LMAMH, we really care about our clients and it shows; and I think it’s true of the entire staff when I say that we find it rewarding to reach out to others at such a time of need. The objective of the LMAMH team is to see every individual treated and stabilized-and that each are served with professionalism, compassion, and consideration.”
The new CES facility is located within the LMAMH facility at Three Mile Curve. For additional information, contact the Logan Center at 304-792-7130. LMAMH also offers professional counseling and medical treatment of mental health illnesses for adults, adolescents, and children, along with many other client-centered programs and services. Visit LMAMH online at www.lmamh.org.
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