Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Behavioral health issues affect millions of adolescents and adults in the United States with about 1 in 5 adults, aged 18 or older, having a mental illness.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Mental health problems are common and help is available. People with mental health problems can improve and many recover completely.

At Wake Forest Baptist, the patient's best interests come first. This commitment takes priority over everything else we do. Even though we are an academic center with serious commitments to education and research, we never lose sight of the fact that all our activities serve one person - the patient.

Our mission is to improve behavioral health and well-being of the people of this region by means of patient care, education and research. It is the full and thoughtful integration of these three elements that makes academic medical centers different; it is the dedication to placing patient care first that identifies the best of these centers.

Inpatient Services

Inpatient services for adults are located in the Sticht Center on the main campus of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. This recently renovated unit offers state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic services to all of our patients for a full range of psychiatric presentations.

Our model of care is patient-centered, multi-disciplinary, and collaborative and we work with our patients and their families to ensure a prompt and safe return to the community.

The adult inpatient unit offers a full range of educational and therapeutic groups to all patients on a daily basis.

During the admission, we work to identify all appropriate community resources to make sure that at the time of discharge, all needs are being addressed to ensure success in the community and to minimize the need for additional hospitalization.

The adult inpatient unit is a major teaching site for psychiatry residents and Wake Forest School of Medicine students. Our team approach is the standard of care across the nation and helps fulfill our educational, clinical, and research missions.

Outpatient Programs

We provide high quality psychiatric care to a wide range of patients in both child/adolescent and adult populations. Services include diagnostic evaluation and psychopharmacology management for the full range of psychiatric disorders including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses and sleep disorders. 

The child and adolescent outpatient department performs evaluations and treatment of all childhood psychiatric disorders including depressive disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and attention deficit disorders. It is staffed by general psychiatry residents, child/adolescent psychiatric fellows and attending physicians who are specialists in this field.

In the adult sector, along with general psychiatric care we also offer specialty clinics for specific populations – geriatric (ages 65+), neurobehavioral/neurodevelopmental (intellectual delay, autistic spectrum disorder, psychiatric complications from neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s disorder, dementias, TBI), women’s health and medication assisted treatment for substance abuse disorders. Upper level psychiatry residents serve as our patients’ primary providers for medication management services, under the direct supervision of attending psychiatric specialists, who are closely involved with diagnosis and treatment planning for every patient at every visit.  

Intensive outpatient group therapy, individual evaluations and therapy form the core of our alcohol and substance abuse services, along with medication assisted treatment. Learn more about our Chemical Dependency Program. 

Community

Our physicians are committed to extending access to Wake Forest Baptist's highest level of behavioral health care to every member of our community regardless of race, religion or socioeconomic status. This is accomplished through the various educational, clinical and volunteer opportunities we engage in with our community partners on a daily basis.

Community-based opportunities include:

  • DEAC clinic - A free primary care clinic that is student run and physician staffed. 
  • Go Program - The Geriatric Outreach Program, or GO Program is a collaborative outreach service that brings mental health care to older adults who need it in their home due to difficulty with transportation or mobility. The GO Team is able to bring mental health services to home-bound elders thanks to a generous gift from the Snider Family in honor of Kate Mills Snider.
  • Bowman Gray Child Guidance - Child Guidance, a non-profit United Way Agency within the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry section, provides mental health services to indigent children ages 3 through 17 and their families from Forsyth, Stokes and Davie counties. The services provided include comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluations, initial screening and referral to appropriate resources, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy/ social skills training, parent training, school consultation and pharmacotherapy. We also provide specialty evaluations and treatment of sexually abused children.
  • University Mental Health - University Mental Health is the community outreach and clinical service arm of the School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry that is focused specifically on Transitional Aged Youth (ages 16-24). 
  • Peer Support Specialists - Our psychiatrists and emergency department physicians have teamed up to provide this innovative community resource. Peer support specialists are people with a history of substance use disorder or mental illness who are in recovery and have been trained to provide personal, experience-based guidance and assistance to others with similar problems. Peer support is available in the emergency department at our Winston-Salem location from 8 am to 10 pm, Monday through Friday.