Behavioral Services

Half of all Americans will experience a mental illness during their lifetimes. Mental or emotional problems affect every aspect of life. If you become overwhelmed, or cannot function day to day, or become dangerous to yourself or those around you, it may be helpful to seek inpatient care.

Cayuga Medical Center has two Behavioral Services units, one for adults over the age of 18 years, and one for adolescents between 13 and 17. We provide individualized care in a warm, supportive environment. We’re here to help you understand the problems you have been experiencing and to work with you to make your life more manageable.

Our team of professional caregivers will do a thorough evaluation to help determine what is causing your distress and how we can best help you. We will check carefully for any underlying medical illness or biochemical origins to your symptoms. We will then work with you, your family, and other health-care professionals to develop a course of treatment that is right for you.

Admission to Behavioral Services

Admission to both the adult and adolescent units typically occurs when an individual requires a level of care that is not available through community outpatient services. We accept admissions to Behavioral Services 24 hours a day. Referrals may be made by physicians, psychologists, social workers, mental-health professionals, social-service agencies, family members, or friends.

Treatment Services

In Behavioral Services, we help people with identifiable, diagnosable, and treatable psychiatric illnesses who are at imminent risk. We treat a wide variety of psychiatric illnesses, among them overwhelming anxiety, behavioral and adjustment disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and psychosis.

Warning Signs and Symptoms

According to Mental Health America, the following are signs that your loved one may want to speak to a medical or mental health professional.  It is especially important to pay attention to sudden changes in thoughts and behaviors. Also keep in mind that the onset of several of the symptoms below, and not just any one change, indicates a problem that should be assessed. The symptoms below should not be due to recent substance use or another medical condition.

If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Strange thoughts (delusions)
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Substance use

Meet the Team

What to Expect

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About Cayuga Medical Center

We are a not-for-profit, acute-care medical center bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services to the residents of Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga counties. And a century after our founding, we remain intrinsically tied to those we serve: our corporate membership includes representatives from over 100 community organizations. At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe that hospitals are shaped by the people they serve


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