Behavioral Health Services

Mount Nittany Medical Center's Behavioral Health Services exists to provide short-term, inpatient care for adults in acute mental health crisis.

Our team relies on a holistic, solution-oriented approach that, above all, strives to provide care that is safe, comfortable and confidential:

  • Safety: Since the patients that come to us are facing a mental health situation that poses a threat to themselves or others, we prioritize establishing a safe, stable environment for our patients and staff.

  • Comfort: We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible during their stay. Patients and staff wear ordinary clothing to provide a less clinical, more relaxed atmosphere.

  • Confidentiality: Maintaining patient confidentiality is an important priority. Patients must sign a release of information form for staff to share any information (including acknowledging their status as a patient in our department) with family, support persons or outpatient treatment providers.

The overall goal of Behavioral Health Services is to help patients learn and practice new coping skills through individual, family and group therapy.

Our Facility

Located on the third floor of the Medical Center, our modern 12-bed unit includes comfortable surroundings, such as a group therapy room, an activities room, a living room and a kitchen. We also have a washer and dryer available for patient use.

Our Team

The Behavioral Health Services team is made up of caring, highly qualified individuals and is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Led by a medical director certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the unit employs licensed psychiatric social workers, a certified recreation therapist, counselors and registered nurses.

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News Article

Diagnosing bipolar disorder

By Timothy Derstine, MD, medical director, behavioral health services, Mount Nittany Medical Center

Bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as manic-depressive illness, is an illness in which a person has unusual shifts in mood that range from feeling the lows of depression to the highs of mania. Prior to treatment, the illness often impairs a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. In the depressive phase of bipolar disorder, the symptoms may include sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, problems concentrating, fatigue, irritability, excessive guilt and suicidal thoughts and behavior. In the manic phase of the illness, the range of symptoms includes prolonged periods of feeling “high,” being in an overly happy or outgoing mood, extreme irritability, poor judgment, rapid speech, racing th...

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