Southern Oaks

What is Southern Oaks?

Southern Oaks is a secure unit staffed by nurses and mental health technicians who have received additional focused training in interacting with psychiatric patients and providing a theraputic environment. The unit is under the direction of a staff psychiatrist. Additional staff includes a licensed social worker/counselor and a degreed recreational specialist.

Where is Southern Oaks?

Southern Oaks is located in Grove Hill Memorial Hospital in Grove Hill, Alabama. Grove Hill is located 75 miles north of Mobile, Alabama at the intersection of U.S. Highways 43 and 84 and is the county seat of Clarke county. It is located in the heart of the eight county catchment area that it serves, which includes Washington, Choctaw, Marengo, Wilcox, Monroe, Baldwin and Mobile counties, as well as Clarke. Additionally, Southern Oaks accepts patients from adjoining areas of both Florida and Mississippi.

Who may make a referral to Southern Oaks?

Most referrals come from someone in the medical field or a government, religious or community agency. Anyone may make a referral to Southern Oaks. However, in most cases, the patient or the patient’s family must agree to the patient’s participation in the pre-admission screening process and, if indicated, the subsequent hospitalization.

What are the admission criteria?

In addition to being at least 55 years old, the potential admission should be medically stable and should have attempted some form of alternative treatment prior to inpatient admission, or the need for treatment must be so acute that alternatives are not feasible. Additionally, the patient must meet one or more of the following:

– Has attempted suicide or expressed suicidal intent within the past 72 hours.
– Has been physically assaultive to the degree that the health or safety of others is threatened.
– Has engaged in significant self-mutilating behavior.
– Is suffering from an acute onset or exacerbation of psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking) of sufficient severity to jeopardize the patient’s ability to live safely outside of the hospital.
– Has suffered an acute deterioration of behavior, coping skills, or ability to care for self to a degree that creates a risk of harm to self or others.
– Has experienced an acute onset of severe mental anguish to the degree that the patient cannot function outside of the inpatient setting.
– Meets DSM-IV-R criteria for major depressive episode or mania.
– The patient is severely disabled as a result of psychoactive substance induced withdrawal, delirium, delusional disorder or amnesic disorder.

All admissions to Southern Oaks are voluntary or are under legal authority of a guardianship or Durable Power of Attorney. Contact an attorney or local legal aid office for additional information on these subjects.

What about medical problems and privacy?

At Southern Oaks, we make every effort to protect the privacy rights of our patients. Only those persons that you choose to inform will be aware of your admission. Visitation and phone calls are limited to those persons that you select and specify. The recently enacted Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) gives you very specific rights regarding your healthcare information and privacy. A copy of these rights will be given to you on admission.