Patients treated at local hospitals evaluated by center
The N.C. Center for Public Policy Research has released the first independent evaluation of a statewide initiative to purchase bed space and build capacity for mental health patients in crisis at local hospitals across North Carolina. The goal of the program is to increase the number of beds available for mental health patients, keeping them out of hospital emergency rooms and out of the state psychiatric hospitals.
North Carolina's ongoing reform of its mental health system is guided by a strategy of providing comprehensive services in local communities, reserving the state's three large psychiatric hospitals for patients needing long-term care. Achieving this, however, requires communities to have hospitals with psychiatric units capable of providing short-term inpatient care — care for people who are temporarily unstable, having a psychotic episode, are suicidal or pose a risk to others, or have relapsed in their substance abuse treatment.