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January 5, 2012

Cedars Sinai to close inpatient and outpatient Psychiatric Services

In December, Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles announced that they will be closing their inpatient psychiatric services, outpatient psychiatric services and psychiatry residency training over the next year.  The hospital said in a statement that the closure will allow them to “focus on the institution’s core strengths while continuing to serve the community’s healthcare needs.”  Cedars Sinai will continue to offer psychiatric and psychological services through the emergency room.  However, patients suffering from exacerbations of depressive and bipolar disorders, psychosis, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues will have to find other facilities for treatment beyond the emergent event.

The Cedars Sinai psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences department has a rich tradition dating back to Dr. Franz Alexander. Known as the Father of Psychosomatic Medicine, Dr. Alexander established the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in 1957 and was its first chairman.  The Cedars Sinai psychiatry department has had a long association with The Thalians, a charitable organization founded by Hollywood movie stars.  In 1973, The Thalians inaugurated The Thalian’s Mental Health Center at Cedars Sinai with an opening gift of $75,000.  Over the years, the Thalians have amassed a 22 million dollar endowment to support mental health care at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

While it is unfortunate that Cedars Sinai is closing their inpatient and outpatient psychiatry services, community and local providers are optimistic that treating less urgent mental health problems may get easier.  A major overhaul of the way California deals with mental health is underway, partly in response to safety issues at mental hospitals, partly in response to Department of Justice oversight, in anticipation of federal health care reform and because of a major realignment shifting management and funding for many mental health services from the state to counties.

PCH Treatment Center is an immersive psychological treatment center that offers a full day treatment program, intensive treatment program with residential options, a partial day dual diagnosis program and a full psychological assessment clinic.  PCH Treatment Center is available to offer guidance and support to Cedars Sinai inpatient and outpatient clients who need further care.  Our intake services can help direct families and persons suffering from mental health issues to the proper facility or treatment program, whatever their condition or resources.  While the loss of the Thalians inpatient and outpatient programs and psychiatry residency program at Cedars Sinai is profound, new opportunities are available, such as PCH Treatment Center, and will become available, such as the new direction the state of California is taking towards treating mental illness.

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