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Behavioral Health Services

Charleston Area Medical Center’s behavioral health program has been helping adults with general and geriatric psychiatric disorders since 1973. Our mission is to provide the best health care to every patient, every day by offering opportunities for recovery, wellness and independence in a secure, supportive environment.

Because CAMC’s behavioral health unit is located in West Virginia’s largest medical center, patients have immediate access to comprehensive medical care for any specialized needs. This continuum of care allows our experienced clinical staff to offer the most effective treatment within a fully integrated health care system developed to meet the individual needs of each patient.

Treatment Team

Our staff is trained to assess and treat most acute psychiatric illnesses, with the goal of helping the individual return to normal functioning and reclaim his or her life in the community. Patients are treated by a multidisciplinary team that includes a medical director, attending physician, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioners, resident psychiatrist, psychologist intern, medical students, counselor, recreational therapist, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, health unit coordinators and nurse externs. We also work closely with social workers, dieticians, physical therapists, case mangers and others members of the medical staff, as needed.


CAMC specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in the elderly as well as general psychiatric care. Our medical team includes Charleston’s only board certified geriatric psychiatrist along with geriatric medicine fellows. Because older adults have unique physical, emotional and social needs, CAMC takes a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment, including listening to the concerns of the older adult, helping families, and working with other health care professionals to develop the most effective approaches to treatment.


CAMC’s behavioral health program is primarily staffed by West Virginia University Physicians from the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry – Charleston Division. Established in 1978, the combined medicine-psychiatry residency program is the second oldest in the nation, offering a unique training experience for residents who are interested in dual board certification in both specialties. This program is in addition to the general psychiatry residency program. The educational environment creates a modern, cutting-edge approach to management of the psychiatrically impaired population of West Virginia. As such, our physicians specialize in caring for the entire patient, not just the psychiatric disorder, providing a full, well-rounded experience for patients.

Treatment Options

Upon admission, psychiatrists and psychologists use a team approach for crisis stabilization. They work with each patient to create an individualized treatment program. All patients are cared for in an accessible, controlled and safe environment offering:

  • Medication adjustment
  • Acute medical care
  • Group therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Patient education
  • Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT)

Patient Education

Education plays an important role in the health and well-being of our patients. It is important for patients to know their diagnosis, treatment plans and goals of their hospitalization. Our staff and physicians work closely with patients and their families to learn more about the factors leading to their admission and how to work as a team with their health care provider to prevent future problems.


Referrals are called directly to the charge nurse. For information about referrals and admissions, call(304) 388-6061. Referrals are assessed in either the emergency department at CAMC General Hospitalor in the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine Clinic at CAMC Memorial Hospital.

Outpatient Services
WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine: (304) 388-1000