If you or a loved one is having a mental health crisis, please call 9-1-1 immediately.Texas Health and Human Services operates nine state hospitals and one residential youth center for people with mental health issues. These facilities are located across the state. Each serves a different population, which may include:
- People involved with the justice system.
If you would like to seek admission or discuss whether inpatient hospitalization is appropriate, please contact your local mental health or behavioral health authority.
The Role of the LMHA/LBHA
The appropriate Local Mental Health Authority or Local Behavioral Health Authority screens patients seeking admission to the hospital to determine the least restrictive treatment environment. This includes private providers.
The LMHA or LBHA gives important facts to the facility, including patient identifying information, legal status, medical and medication information, behavioral data and other treatment information.
If a person seeks admission without prior screening by the LMHA, the hospital conducts an emergency medical screening, in compliance with Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and consults with the LMHA. EMTALA is a federal law that requires hospital emergency departments to medically screen every patient who seeks emergency care and to stabilize or transfer those with medical emergencies, regardless of health insurance status or ability to pay. The admitting physician has the final authority regarding admission of an individual, consistent with resources available at the hospital. All patients sent to the facility through court commitments are evaluated for admission. In general, to be involuntarily admitted, you must show symptoms of mental illness and that you are a danger to yourself or others.
The appropriate LMHA routinely screens all requests for voluntary admission to ensure hospitalization is the least restrictive treatment alternative. No person is denied voluntary admission without thorough documentation and appropriate referral, as recommended by the screening physician.
What to Expect during the Admissions Process
Almost all hospital admission departments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Admitting procedures include a psychiatric evaluation, a nursing assessment, creating a patient record and taking an identification photograph for the patient’s medical record. We provide the booklet, Your Rights in Facilities, to all incoming patients. We will also give you an Admitting Rights Packet, and we make a record of all your belongings and money.
IMPORTANT: We encourage families to take home valuables and other items you don’t need during hospitalization. Valuables kept at the facility are at the patients’ and families’ own risk.
Patients should bring no more than five changes of clothing. Bring comfortable items such as sports shoes, loose fitting clothing that is easy to wash and comfortable sleeping clothes.
Admission staff search incoming patients and all their personal property to make sure all personal items that can be dangerous to the patient or others are removed and held for safekeeping.
How Forensic Admissions Work
If a judge rules that a defendant is incompetent to stand trial:
- The judge issues an order for inpatient competency-restoration.
- The court mails a copy of the commitment order to the state hospital system’s forensic mailbox to add the person to the waitlist for admission to a state hospital.
- Patients needing maximum security because of the level of the charged offense will be admitted to either North Texas State Hospital in Vernon or Rusk State Hospital.
- All other patients are admitted to one of the other seven state hospitals across Texas as determined by the county of commitment.
- Patients are admitted in the order that their commitment is received.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the state hospital system’s forensic process.
Assessment of Patients
The physician assigned to admission duty provides an admission psychiatric evaluation, physical assessment and admitting orders. Upon arrival to the appropriate treatment program, a physical examination is completed within 24 hours. Admission procedures include tuberculosis skin testing, appropriate laboratory tests, and other diagnostics. Staff conduct a dental screening, address the patient's past medical history and the need for any special precautions, and complete a psychiatric evaluation, nursing assessment, rehabilitation assessment, and social history. Assessments are culturally sensitive and appropriate. With the patient's permission, a treatment team representative, usually the social worker, initiates contact with the patient's family or significant others. Patients are encouraged to include family members and/or significant others in their treatment, as appropriate.
All tobacco products are banned on state hospital property. This includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco and any other tobacco products. Lighters and matches are also banned.
Access to Tobacco
Employees are prohibited from sharing any tobacco products with any person served. Employees, volunteers, visitors, vendors, contractors or anyone on the campus who uses tobacco products must make sure patients cannot access, nor are offered these products. All visitors must store tobacco products and lighters securely out of sight, including tobacco products left in private vehicles parked on hospital property.
We permit nicotine patches, nicotine gum, nicotine nasal spray or similar aids designed to help people quit using tobacco. When cessation aids are required for patients, the patient’s doctor in coordination with the treatment team will order them. Patients must have a doctor’s order to use them while in treatment. Employees may not share tobacco cessation aids with patients.