St. Luke's University Health Network


    • Recovery Model at Behavioral Health Services

Recovery Model at Behavioral Health Services

“Hope Starts Here” - St. Luke's Behavioral Health Inpatient Services Uses "Recovery Model"

New model focuses on what is possible, not impossible…Instilling hope and dispelling stigma

“Behavioral health” has moved through many descriptive metamorphoses in recent decades. The notion of “mental health”, even with a reference to “illness” removed from its title, still triggers a negative connotation to the public.

According to Virginia Wagner, MS, MSW, LCSW, St. Luke's Administrator for Behavioral Health and Geriatrics says, “Psychological pain is just as traumatic as physical pain, and like scar tissue, sometimes we do not know how extensive or reachable it is. Our brains are organs just like every other organ in our bodies; and in the same way our bodies' organs become ill, our brains too become ill due to genetic predisposition, environmental causes or trauma. When this happens, there are medical therapies and services available for healing.”

The interesting fact is that everyone has moments of mental instability, especially during times of grief, sadness, loss or despair. And most of us have some experience, either with our own family or friends, or even ourselves, where getting professional counseling is either imperative or just helpful. And while we don't all need admittance into hospital-run facilities for emergency or crisis treatment, we are all capable of benefiting from behavioral health services. The moral of the story: every brain has the potential to be sick or injured at any given time.

Wagner goes on to say, “While we can all be vulnerable to stress or conflict, some of us are “hardwired” better than others to face turmoil. Others never had that ability or perhaps along the way, lost their confidence and hope. It's this last group that we often treat in crisis situations. We do not often think about the mental health “traumas” or “emergencies”. However, day after day, St. Luke's behavioral health crisis workers, nurses, therapists, techs, social workers and psychiatrists offer their skill and strength to help those in behavioral crossroads or tangles regain a sense of hope.”

In their quest to “heal through hope”, St. Luke's Behavioral Health Services incorporates the Recovery Model which complements traditional psychiatric interventions.

Mary Dugan, Nurse Manager of St. Luke's Behavioral Health unit at St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital says, “Our inpatient service has specific groups which help the individual look at strengths, positive coping strategies and accountability, emphasizing what's strong vs. what's wrong. That focus is carried forward into the community where the goals can be continued through outpatient services. Our multidisciplinary inpatient team treats a diverse group of patients. Group activities teach skills such as recognizing triggers, coping mechanisms, crisis intervention, medication education, relapse provention, nutrition and mental health, and multiple activity groups.”

St. Luke's inpatient Behavioral Health Services includes a 23-bed adult unit at the Bethlehem Campus and a 19-bed unit at St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital, which accepts both adults and adolescents on a case-by-case basis. An Adult Partial Hospital program and Outpatient Therapy Services are located on Eaton Avenue in Bethlehem. We also have a very committed Crisis Team, which operates around the clock in our Emergency Departments. They are the frontline for those with immediate, life-challenging situations that require skillful diagnosis, understanding and strength.

For more information about St. Luke's Behavioral Health Services, contact us at any of our convenient locations:

  • St. Luke's Behavioral Health Services - Quakertown: 1021 Park Avenue, 215-538-4735
  • St. Luke's Behavioral Health Services - Bethlehem: 801 Ostrum Street, 610-954-4421
  • St. Luke's Behavioral Health Services - Eaton Avenue: 1107 Eaton Avenue, 610-954-2400

For emergency or crisis services call 911 or go to the closest Emergency Department.

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