Torrance State Hospital
Torrance State Hospital (TSH) celebrated its Centennial in 2019 with the theme of “Giving Hope and Transforming Lives for 100 Years”. You can read more about our history in the “History of TSH” section of this website.
Please note that tobacco use is strictly prohibited on the TSH campus as well as the other Pennsylvania State Hospital campuses and South Mountain Restoration Center. This includes vaping.
Thank you for visiting TSH’s web page and an overview of our progressive treatment program focused on supporting individuals in pursuit of recovery and community living. TSH, a public psychiatric hospital, is funded by the Department of Human Services through the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Bureau of Community & Hospital Operations.
TSH is nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Chestnut Ridge and is located 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, just South of U.S. Route 22. The facility is certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). TSH provides inpatient services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. The hospital serves individuals with three distinct services: (1) Civil; (2) Forensic, through the Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center (RFPC); and (3) Sexual Responsibility & Treatment Program (SRTP). This dynamic facility has a dedicated staff who offer hope for recovery which is based on an individualized plan of treatment through referral from community-based programs. As a partner in the public mental health system, TSH achieves its mission through collaboration with individuals in treatment, county programs, providers, family members, advocates and significant others in order to return individuals to the least restrictive setting, in a supportive and restorative environment. Through multi-disciplinary teams, TSH successfully discharges individuals from an intensive hospital-based active treatment program to out-patient programs in the community.
Torrance State Hospital is committed to provide all persons who have serious mental illness, including those with a co-occurring disorder, the opportunity for growth, recovery, and inclusion in their community. This is provided through evidence and promise-based psychiatric treatment and substance abuse services, access to the supports and services of their choice, so individuals may enjoy a quality of life that facilitates personal growth and achievement.
Torrance State Hospital places a high value upon:
The quality of life and inherent worth of the individual
- Facilitating hope, healing, and recovery
- Being responsive to each individual’s recovery needs
- The individual’s need and capacity to be independent
- Confidentiality, dignity, and personal integrity for individuals
- Being sensitive and responsive to culture, race, ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual orientation differences
- Ensuring individual human rights free from discrimination and stigma
- The individual’s capacity to grow, thrive, and achieve
- Designing comprehensive treatment programs for and with individuals
- Focusing on relapse prevention and early intervention
- Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust and a safety partnership
- Cooperation with our community providers to promote and sustain recovery
- The presence of an empathetic, hopeful, continuous treatment relationship
- An environment that supports recovery and personal needs
- Implementing evidence and promise-based practices to provide quality services
Torrance State Hospital will expand its role as an integral component of the unified mental health continuum by providing a comprehensive array of treatment, support, and services in partnership with all stakeholders. We adhere to a "No Wrong Door" approach in order to include integrated services related to mental health, physical health, substance use disorders, and overall wellness.
Individuals are generally admitted to TSH from a community in-patient psychiatric hospitalization. If the treating physician at the community hospital determines that the patient requires longer term involuntary psychiatric treatment, a referral is initiated by the appropriate county program office.
Counties served by the Civil program include: Allegheny; Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Green, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland
All referrals for admission to TSH are processed through the Social Services Department which is one of six Departments within the Social and Rehabilitative Services domain, administered by the Chief Social/Rehabilitative Executive. Referrals for admission are received by the Clerical Supervisor. Individual clinical information is reviewed by the Social Work Manager and TSH Medical Staff members along with the county mental health program to assure that the needs of the person will be best met by the services provided at TSH as well as assuring that all procedural requirements have been met to safeguard the rights of the person being referred. Family members and significant others are welcome and encouraged to visit or speak with the hospital staff during the pre-admission phase to have questions answered and to promote and support continuity of care.
The Admission Office is located on the third floor of the Greizman Building.
Hours of Operationand Contact Information
The Admissions Office is staffed from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Messages may be left 24-hours a day, seven days a week and someone will return the call during regular hours of operation.
In an effort to assure ongoing family and friend support during hospitalization, general visiting hours are between the hours of 9:00 AM and 8:30 PM but visits must be scheduled around Active Treatment Programming so that maximum opportunity for treatment may occur. A visiting area is available in each building.
All employees of TSH are trained to assure that the rights of patients are respected and protected. TSH is committed to assuring that the rights of all patients are protected in compliance with The Bill of Rights and the Manual of Rights for Patients in the PA Code, Title 55. Copies of these rights are provided to patients through the TSH Patient Handbook. Additional copies of the handbook are available to families and others. Other organizational safeguards established to protect patient rights include the Human Rights Committee; Patient Abuse Investigation Board; Performance Improvement/Risk Management
Committee; The Ethics Committee; and the External Advocate program (via contract with Mental Health America of Southwestern PA).
Contact Information for External Advocates
- Julia Valenti — Phone: 724-459-4583
- Russ Lambing — Phone: 724-459-4520
TSH is a dynamic, treatment oriented, psychiatric facility that emphasizes thorough and accurate assessment and individualized treatment based upon contemporary evidence based practices. The application of Community Support (CSP), psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery principles are key elements of the Active Treatment Program. Patients are active partners with Treatment Team members in the development of Individualized Treatment plans and Active Treatment schedules.
Over 150 different types of groups have been developed to provide programming at various times and days of the week to afford patients the opportunity to have treatment that is individualized to meet their needs, as well as interests. Some of the more innovative and state-of-the-art treatment programs include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT); Cognitive Remediation; Discharge Fears: Anger Control; Co-occurring Disorders related to drug and/or alcohol; Health Promotions and Safe Choices; Patient Worker Program; Spirituality Support Groups; Horticulture; Keys to Success; Trauma Survivors; Relapse Prevention; Smoking Cessation; Striving for Recovery Groups; Symptom Management; and Consumer Run Drop-In Center programs regarding Peer Support, including the Annual Consumer Developed and Facilitated Hospital and Community Conference.
The Active Treatment program is based on quarters with program schedules being revised at least every three months or more frequently based upon the needs of the patient.
Social Rehabilitation Services Contact Information
- Angela Harris, Chief Social Rehabilitation Executive
Phone: 724-459-4423; Fax: 724-459-4498
- Cari Evans, Social Work Manager
Phone: 724-459-4412; Fax: 724-459-1212
- Sandy Harris, Clerical Supervisor (Admissions)
Phone: 724-459-4444; Fax: 724-459-1212
Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center (RFPC)
On November 13, 2008, the RFPC program transferred from Mayview State Hospital to TSH.
Referrals to the RFPC occur from 48 counties through the county court system related to individuals with criminal charges who are admitted for competency assessment, competency restoration and/or treatment. Referrals should be sent to the Court Liaison.
The RFPC provides active psychiatric treatment and/or psychiatric evaluation in a secure facility for persons that are involved with the county-based judicial/correction systems. A person referred for admission to the RFPC must be under criminal detention by this system. For those persons committed for psychiatric treatment, the anticipated outcome is that with stabilization of symptoms, the individual will return to the judicial system. For those individuals referred for court ordered evaluations, the outcome is their return to the judicial system with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation forwarded to the court of jurisdiction.
RFPC Admission Process
The RFPC Pre-admission Referral form is completed by the referring county and includes the reason for admission, the person's psychiatric, medical and legal status. A psychiatrist, medical doctor, court liaison, social worker, forensic registered nurse supervisor and Chief Forensic Executive (CFE) complete a review of the referral based on the data sent by the referring county to assess the patient and their needs to determine if those needs can be met at the RFPC. When necessary, additional information is requested.
Once the pre-admission referral review is completed and admission criteria have been met, the Court Liaison will contact the county and schedule the admission. The person is transported by county law enforcement personnel to the RFPC, and is generally admitted between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM.
The RFPC is located in the Beistel Building.
RFPC Contact Information
- Stacey Keilman, Chief Forensic Executive
Phone: 724-675-2101; Fax: 724-675-2114
- Tony Dahm, Court Liaison
Phone: 724-675-2105; Fax: 724-675-2114
- Lynn Gasbarre, Forensic Social Work Supervisor
Phone: 724-675-2113; Fax: 724-675-2114
- Melissa Forni, Clerk Typist III
Phone: 724-675-2133; Fax: 724-675-2124
Forensic Nurse Supervisors
RFPC Visiting Guidelines
All visits must be prescheduled at least 24-hours prior to the visiting day.
Visits are scheduled through the Social Worker or the Forensic Registered Nurse Supervisor. Visiting times are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM. These same times are also available on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Children under 18 years old must be accompanied and supervised by their parent or legal guardian and may visit during regular visiting hours.
No patient will be permitted to have visitors for the first 72-hours following admission.
As the threat of contraband entering the RFPC is always a concern, visiting is strictly controlled and monitored. To ensure no contraband enters the RFPC, all visitors must pass the metal detector or trans-frisker wand. Visitors shall not mail, deliver or bring food, drink or tobacco products to the RFPC for patient use. Visiting is only permitted in the designated visiting area.
Questions regarding items that may be brought during a visit can be addressed to the Social Worker.
Former RFPC patients are not permitted to visit current patients.
RFPC Phone Calls
Patients cannot receive calls; however, they may place phone calls provided their right to place calls has not been restricted for therapeutic reasons or legal stipulations outlined in their Court Order.
In the event that a patient receives a call, the RFPC employee who takes the call will take the name and phone information of the caller, and, if requested by the caller, relay to the patient that he is to return the call.
RFPC Patient Programs/Treatment Modalities
Physical, psychiatric, psychological, social and nursing assessments are completed for every patient admitted to the RFPC. A Comprehensive Individualized Treatment Plan (CITP) is developed that addresses the problems, strengths, and recommendations identified on these assessments and with the input of the patient. Treatment plans are formally reviewed at least every 30 days by the patient's Treatment Team.
Treatment services available to patients at the RFPC include individual therapy, group therapy, psycho-educational programs, milieu therapy, counseling by members of the Treatment Team, Therapeutic Recreation, and various social activities provided by Recreational Therapists, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy when clinically indicated. The RFPC’s competency restoration includes educational groups on legal issues and participating in mock trials. A balanced diet is provided by Dietary Services for each patient, and specialized diets are available when clinically required. Patients under age 21 are evaluated with regard to their educational needs. Patients with special educational needs are also evaluated and appropriate resources are contacted. Other specialty departments/services are consulted when appropriate to assess and meet the needs of the patient.
RFPC Patient Rights Protection
Patients served by the RFPC have access to a formal complaint process that is administered and monitored by TSH's External Patient Advocate. The External Patient Advocate makes regular visits to the RFPC to afford patients the opportunity to ask for assistance. The External Patient Advocate insures that all patient complaints are responded to and that the hospital's policy on patient complaints is followed. RFPC patients also have access to the phone number for the External Patient Advocate.
Sexual Responsibility and Treatment Program (SRTP)
On August 14, 2003, Act 21 was enacted into law. The Act mandates that Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services provide mental health and sex-offense specific treatment for an identified population that had been adjudicated of certain sex-related crimes.
While these individuals remain in juvenile treatment programs, they may still pose a significant risk to sexually re-offend after reaching the age of 21, an age when the oversight of the juvenile justice system ends. Act 21 mandates that a person who is committed to an adolescent treatment facility for sex crimes who may still be at risk to re-offend and is about to reach the age of 20, be identified ninety days prior to their birth date. Upon identification, Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board (SOAB) is required to conduct an evaluation to determine if a person has "serious difficulty in controlling sexually violent behavior". The SOAB will also determine if the person meets the criteria for "dangerousness" as defined by Act 21. If so, a petition for a mental health hearing is performed affording the individual due process. If it is determined by the Court that a civil commitment is warranted, the now 20-year old will be committed to the SRTP. A yearly commitment review occurs for each resident at which time a decision is made to continue treatment or begin community re-integration.
The SRTP provides a safe and secure treatment environment that employs cognitive-behavioral and sex-offense specific interventions. In conjunction with other concurrent mental health therapies, treatment is individualized and designed to assist in the development of the necessary skills and coping strategies needed to manage and control deviant thinking and behavior while minimizing their risk of recidivism. The SRTP also remains current on emerging literature, research, and evidenced based practices and, as a result, modifies its approach for treating sex offending and concurrent mental health issues.
The SRTP Program is located in the Wiseman Building.
SRTP Contact Information
- Roberta “Bobbi” Lawrence, Executive Director
Phone: 724-675-2001; Fax: 724-675-2003
- Dr. Melissa Nossal, Clinical Director
- George Barbour, Social Worker II
*Questions related to court hearings and admissions should be directed to George Barbour.
- Bonnie Bernard, Clerk Typist III
Phone: 724-675-2002; Fax: 724-675-2003
An act of legislation on June 18, 1915, authorized the development of a state hospital in Derry Township to provide custodial care to those with mental illness. As a result, the TSH was opened on November 25, 1919, with five patients transferred from Danville State Hospital who were first housed in a converted dairy barn. In subsequent years, many new buildings were added to the campus, and the hospital began caring for more patients. Throughout the next decades, the population of the hospital expanded to over 3,000 patients. However, new psychiatric medications and therapies developed in the later part of the century and the development of community facilities have allowed many persons with mental illness to receive treatment in their own communities. The population of the hospital today is around 300, and the hospital serves those with mental illness from 14 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. In 2019, TSH will have its 100th anniversary, and plans are underway to celebrate a history of caring and progress in the treatment of those with mental illness.
Directions to TSH
FROM PA Turnpike Interstate Route 76:
- Take Interstate Route 76 (PA Turnpike) to Exit 91 - Donegal
- Follow State Route 711 North to Ligonier (approximately 12 miles)
- Take U.S. Route 30 West to State Route 217 North (approximately 8 miles)
- Follow State Route 217 North through the town of Derry; turn right onto Torrance Road (approximately 10 miles) right. Follow the road past Entrance No. 1 to the hospital, around a sharp curve (Armory on your left) and you will see a three-story building (Greizman Building) on the left-hand side of the road (1.7 miles) turn left at Entrance No. 2. You may park in the large parking lot and enter the front of the Greizman Building to sign-in with Security.
FROM U.S. Route 22 at Blairsville, PA:
- Follow State Route 217 South through Blairsville.
- Take Torrance Road towards the East (first left after you cross the Conemaugh River bridge).
- Take Follow the road past Entrance No. 1 to the hospital, around a sharp curve (Armory on your left) and you will see a three-story building (Greizman Building) on the left-hand side of the road (1.7 miles) turn left at Entrance No. 2. You may park in the large parking lot and enter the front of the Greizman Building to sign-in with Security.