Western State Recognized for Successful Discharge System - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Western State Recognized for Successful Discharge System

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Western State Hospital has been revered by the state for its discharge system, which mental health professionals now hope to adopt for all public hospitals in the commonwealth.

The goal of treatment for mental health professionals is to provide the least restrictive environment in guiding patients along the road to recovery. Now, the office of the state inspector general has singled out Western State's system from the rest.

Each month, leaders at Western State meet with various community service boards in the region to discuss individual cases. They have a four-point system in determining clinical readiness of patients. Leaders also brainstorm ways to overcome barriers - like lack of proper housing - in achieving greater independence for patients.

"I don't know if it is as gratifying as having the system work, and feeling like we're in a room and we're very much partner with our community liaisons,” said Dr. Jack Barber, Western State Hospital director.

When patients are able to be released, they can become integrated back by living independently, or under supervised conditions. It really depends on a case-by-case basis, but Western State also has programs to assist patients before leaving.

Praise for Western State came out in a report released Tuesday. The evaluations came from studying the hospital's practices over the past year.

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