In June of 2007, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center opened a new unit designed to safely assess and treat psychiatric patients in crisis. The Psychiatric Crisis Unit is an extension of the main LSU Emergency Department and is located on the third floor, directly above Fast Track.
The Crisis Unit consists of 15 patient rooms with temporary beds. The Unit is locked at all times and monitored by a closed-circuit camera system. There are two nursing stations, a day room for patients, and two resident and student offices. The unit is staffed around the clock with psychiatric nurses, psych techs, resident doctors, attending doctors, and students. There are also two case managers during the week to assist with counseling and discharge planning. The unit’s purpose has evolved a great deal over the past fourteen months. It is used for psychiatric assessment and stabilization, substance abuse education and referral, crisis counseling, medication management, admission to the 10th floor for extended care, and social services referral. We work closely with local mental health agencies, Medicaid and Medicare rehabilitation clinics, the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, STEPS, Northwest Regional Center for Addictive Disorders, as well as other substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment centers.
The unit continues to receive praise from all LSU staff and faculty. The Psychiatry Crisis Unit has been successful in providing much needed services to patients with mental health and substance abuse problems, and has moved services to mental health patients from the ER Trauma Center to a safe and controlled environment.