Centered in a community which is rich in history and tradition, Columbia Las Encinas Hospital is no exception. Established in 1904, by Dr. James H. McBride, Las Encinas Hospital (then named the Southern California Sanitarium for Nervous Diseases) was meant to be a place for mental health recovery, a place for hope and for renewal. Dr. McBride had the words A Non Est Vivere Sed Valere Vita@ (Not just to live, but to enjoy living) inscribed above the front door. We continue to be guided by the philosophy that remains above the front door: Enjoying living. Though our name has changed during the 93 years since our founding, one thing has not changed: Columbia Las Encinas is still fully committed to providing the highest quality services to our patients and to the community.

Today, COLUMBIA Las Encinas Hospital is a 138-bed acute psychiatric and chemical dependency facility. We offer a full continuum of inpatient, partial hospitalization and outpatient services for children, adolescents and adults.

COLUMBIA Las Encinas offers RESPOND for crisis intervention and referral, rehabilitation services, ACCESS community mental health groups, and a Rapid Stabilization philosophy that helps the facility meet the demands of managed care. The Partial hospitalization programs may be utilized as a transition from hospital, or as intensive treatment without hospitalization. Our Youth Services Pavilion deals with the acute treatment of children and adolescents from ages 5 - 17 for emotional, behavioral and chemical dependency problems.

The senior years are now regarded as some of the most productive and fulfilling times in an adult's life. But what happens when older adults feel too depressed, anxious or forgetful to accomplish all they are capable of doing? The problem may be linked to a mental health concern. "Functional psychiatric disturbances are very common in the senior population," says Berry McCord, MD, Medical Director of the Gero-Psychiatric Unit. "Yet, in many cases, the older person fears the stigma of mental illness, seeking the help of a general practitioner, pastor, relative or caregiver before getting psychiatric assistance."

The most common disorders occurring in seniors:


Depressive disorders afflict from 5 to 10 percent of those over 65. Common symptoms include feelings of sadness and/or irritability, loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, changes in weight or appetite, sleep problems, loss of interest in appearance and thoughts of suicide or death. Psychological causes may include loss of a loved one, feelings of helplessness, prolonged illness and the sense of losing control over one's life. Depression may also be linked with physical illness and the medications used for treating a particular illness. Depression in the elderly can be treated, in many cases giving the individual a renewed purpose and pleasure in life.


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