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About Central Regional Hospital

Central Regional Hospital is one of four State psychiatric hospitals in North Carolina.  It is operated by the Division of State-Operated Healthcare Facilities (DSOHF) and the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services of the Department of Health & Human Services. 

Affiliations and Accreditation

Central Regional Hospital is a psychiatry residency training site for both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Both universities conduct clinical research programs at the hospital. CRH provides training rotations for medical students, nurses, social workers, psychologists, chaplains, physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreation therapists and a variety of other disciplines. We are also affiliated with and provide training rotations for Vance Granville Community College and Watts School of Nursing

The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Joint Commission is a national voluntary accrediting agency for hospitals. The hospital also is certified to provide treatment by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. 


The mission of Central Regional Hospital is to provide high quality, integrated, person-centered treatment to children, adolescents and adults with psychiatric disorders with a focus on safety while promoting wellness and offering support to patients and their families consistent with the principles of recovery and trauma informed care.

Our Organization of Clinical Service Units

Acute Adult Unit (AAU)

The Acute Adult Unit of CRH provides admission, treatment, and discharge services to all patients admitted to the hospital between the ages of 18 and 64 years old.  The primary purposes of the unit are:

  1. to provide careful clinical evaluation and treatment of patients; to implement programs of therapeutic intervention which are grounded in a continuously updated knowledge of the  pathophysiology and psychosocial precipitants of mental illnesses; and to work closely with community agencies and families so as to facilitate continuity of treatment as patients are discharged;
  2. to offer stimulating and informative educational experiences to students of all clinical care disciplines so that these students may be well-prepared to later join in delivering services to mentally ill patients; and
  3. to develop and support clinical research initiatives which display a potential for providing better understanding of, and more effective treatments for, mental illnesses.

Geriatric Services Unit (GSU)

The Geriatric Services Unit admits patients 65 years old and older.  The unit serves two broadly defined populations. The first is non-demented patients in the geriatric age range with any general psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or delusional disorder.  The second population consists of patients with various types of dementia who have behavioral disturbance related either to the dementia or a co-morbid pre-existing psychiatric disorder, and that behavior disturbance has made them temporarily unmanageable at home or in a community care facility. 

GSU offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment of patients with acute psychiatric illnesses.   Individuals with dementia receive comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and they receive a functional assessment to determine the level of support and structure that they will need in the community.

Medical Services

Medical Services provides medical evaluation and care in three venues: medical services to patients residing on the psychiatric treatment units, the Medical Services Unit and the Employee/Patient Specialty Clinic.

Community Transition Unit (CTU)

The mission of the Community Transition Unit is to provide state-of–the-art assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for patients with severe, chronic or treatment-resistant psychiatric illnesses. These patients require more comprehensive and extended services to return to the community with a reduced risk of relapse and readmission.  Treatment efforts are aimed at reducing and managing symptoms while strengthening the practical skills needed to return to community living.

The CTU does not accept direct admissions.  Patients are accepted for transfer from an adult acute services where short-term intervention has proved inadequate to allow the person to be safely or effectively served in a less restrictive setting in the community. 

Child/Adolescent Unit (CAU)

The Child/Adolescent Unit evaluates and treats children up to the age of 18.  CAU has two divisions:

Children’s Services: Children’s Services provide intensive inpatient treatment and emergency diagnostic and treatment services for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old.  It includes a comprehensive educational program.  Patients are admitted from the entire State.

Adolescent Services: The Adolescent Services provide intensive evaluation and treatment for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 years old on an emergency and short-term basis.  It includes a comprehensive education program and serves the Central Region of the State.

All programs within the Child/Adolescent Services provide comprehensive medical, psychiatric, psychological, social and educational services.  All of the specialty services described in this document are available to this population.  If an additional specialty service is needed, referral is made to an outside agency, such as UNC Hospitals.  Special attention is paid to evaluation and planning with the child’s family or guardian and other community resources.

Screening and Admissions Unit (SAU)

The SAU is in continuous operation, with three shifts of employee staffing.  The Clinical Director, a psychiatrist, oversees the operation of the unit and a Registered Nurse supervises healthcare technicians and clerical personnel.  Physicians evaluate patients, write treatment orders, and perform physical examinations 24 hours per day, seven days per week. 

Once a patient is evaluated, a decision is made to admit the person or release him/her back to the home community for outpatient follow-up.  If the decision is to admit, an initial diagnosis is made, admission orders are written and any required Qualified Physician Examination statement needed by the court is completed.  The patient is escorted to one of the treatment patient care units by staff from that unit.  Patients who do not meet psychiatric admission criteria, are returned to the community and SAU staff communicate with the LME to coordinate appropriate follow-up plans.

If a patient is denied admission because he/she has medical illness that exceeds the capability of CRH to manage safely, the patient is stabilized and then transported to a local hospital for appropriate evaluation and treatment.
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