Arizona State Hospital


The Arizona State Hospital provides court-ordered treatment to individuals suffering from a behavioral health illness which has severely impaired their functioning and their ability to be maintained in the community. It is the most restrictive psychiatric setting in Arizona; therefore the courts must be shown that individuals have been unable to be psychiatrically stabilized in community treatment facilities. The courts generally require a minimum of twenty-five inpatient treatment days to attempt stabilization before issuing an order to the Arizona State Hospital. Every attempt should be made in the community to stabilize the behavior prior to admission to the State Hospital.

Once an individual has been referred, the Hospital's Office of Admission attempts to gather the proposed patient's past clinical information from the community. This information is vital in the development of a treatment plan that will be comprehensive and built around the individual needs of the patient. Clinical information received is summarized by the Admission Office's social workers and is provided to the hospital's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for review. This review familiarizes the CMO with the special needs of each patient and enables him to assign the incoming patient to the most appropriate treatment unit in the hospital. The CMO may also request additional clinical information be secured, which will further assist with treatment. Once it is determined that the Arizona State Hospital is the appropriate setting for the prospective patient, a unit assignment is made, and the local Regional Behavioral Health Agency (RBHA) is notified and a request is made for a Certificate Of Need (CON). This certificate is basically a document which says that the RBHA is in agreement that this patient meets the criteria for the level of care the Arizona State Hospital offers. The Office Of Admission coordinates with the community hospital or facility to arrange for the patient's transport to the hospital

Who Provides my Family Member's Care?

Upon the patient's arrival on the unit, they are met by the inpatient treatment team who will be responsible for their care and treatment. This inpatient treatment team is made up of staff from the following disciplines: Psychiatry, Nursing, Social Work, Rehabilitation Therapy Services and Psychology. Other departments, such as Family Medicine and Nutrition Services are also actively working with each patient in the hospital.

An extensive intake interview occurs with the patient and team members complete a comprehensive assessment. The assessment is utilized in developing a preliminary treatment plan with the participation of the patient. A staffing date and time is then set to formalize the Individual Treatment and Discharge Plan (ITDP). A 10 day period allows the team to become more familiar with the patient's particular strengths and needs.

The Psychiatrist is responsible for leading the treatment team, and identifies the interventions needed to address the patients psychiatric and medical needs and concerns. The psychiatrist and family practice physician complete an initial assessment, establish the diagnosis, prescribe medication, other tests or treatment that need to be performed and review the individual's progress in meeting treatment goals.

Nursing staff, in coordination with medical and psychiatric staff, monitor the status of the patient and coordinate to ensure that medical care is provided. Nursing staff provide treatment to patients to address their medical and psychiatric needs. They maintain responsibility for ensuring a safe and therapeutic environment, supporting, supervising and teaching patients self-care, providing individual and group treatment, medication education and administration as well as implement physician orders. Nursing staff help patients process their moods and feelings and communicate the progress of the patient to the rest of the team. More on Nursing...

The Social Worker on the unit is responsible for assuring that all family members and significant community service providers are notified of treatment team staffings, and encourage their input into the treatment plan. Family and community service providers are strongly encouraged to maintain their involvement with the patient throughout their stay in the hospital, since they are the primary link to a successful discharge. The Social Worker is charged with planning and coordinating the return of the patient to the community following discharge (discharge planning). Some of the services they work to coordinate include: case management and medication, medical care, housing, and other benefits. More on Social Services...

The Psychologist has the responsibility for ensuring that a treatment plan is developed, maintained and followed by the treatment plan for every patient in the hospital. In addition, the psychologist is responsible for providing group therapy to address common issues that are experienced by patients with mental illness. For example, the development of coping, communication and social skills, anger management and substance abuse education are some of the more common areas covered in therapeutic groups. In addition, psychologists perform evaluations to help clarify a diagnosis or assist in determining the treatment approach that should be used. Individual therapy is also regularly provided by psychology staff. More on Psychology...

Rehabilitation Services are provided by Occupational and Recreational Therapists and Therapy Technicians. Rehabilitation staff assist patients in learning the community living skills needed to assist them in successful community reintegration. These services focus primarily on home management, use of leisure time, fitness and social skill development. Opportunities are provided to apply skills learned in day-to-day activities (e.g. walks, dances, art and music, exercise, etc.) More on Rehabilitation...

The planning for the discharge of the patient begins at the time of admission by identifying family and community resources which will be available to support the patient's transition back into the community, once the illness is stabilized. Throughout the patient's stay all efforts will be made to keep family and community involvement active. For those patients who do not have the family or community supports, the hospital will work with the RBHA and other community agencies to assure those supports are in place during the patients hospitalization and, in particular, at the time of discharge.

To obtain information about how to contact your inpatient family member's treatment team, call the Arizona State Hospital's Admission Unit at (602) 220-6120.

More information about RHBA's can be obtained on the Arizona Department of Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services website.