Torrance State Hospital is one of six State Hospitals in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The hospital is operated by the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS).
Torrance is located in the foothills of the Chestnut Ridge, 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, just off Route 22 in Derry Township, Westmoreland County
Torrance opened its doors on November 25, 1919, with the transfer of five patients from Danville Hospital.
The original patient census of five grew to a patient count of nearly 3,300 in the 1950s and 1960s, reflecting the attitudes of society toward mental illness. With the passage of legislation in 1966, which established the community-based mental health system, the stage was set for what became known as the "de-institutionalization movement". Throughout the 1970s to the present, Torrance State Hospital has continued its evolution, ever decreasing its census by affording patients the opportunity to resume community living. The Long Term Care Unit, a licensed Skilled Nursing Facility, was closed in 1996 and the Mental Retardation Unit, which had long been located at Torrance State Hospital, was closed in June 1998.
As the need for psychiatric and long-term care beds on the grounds of the state hospital has decreased and availability of community supports has increased, some areas of the physical plant have been converted to other uses
- The South West Secure Treatment Unit, a facility operated by the Department of Public Welfare's Office of Children, Family and Youth for adjudicated juveniles is located on the grounds
- First Link, a consumer-operated Drop-In Center
- Department of Public Welfare: Health Insurance Unit.
- Charter Behavioral Health Systems, opened a Psycho-sexual Rehabilitation and Education Program for Adolescent Males, ages 12â"20, in an unused building on grounds. The Program is now operated by White Deer Run and is named Cove Prep.
Philosophy and treatment approaches
Torrance State Hospital's philosophy and treatment approaches have evolved over the years in direct correlation with the development of best practices in behavioral health care, reflective of research and treatment innovations. Torrance State Hospital is a dynamic, treatment-oriented, modern psychiatric facility; emphasizing thorough and accurate assessment, appropriate treatment, treatment outcome measurement, accountability and efficiency. Documentation in all treatment and administrative programs is in accordance with the current standards of the various applicable certification and accreditation agencies. Its vision for the 21st century is to be one of the dynamic providers within the mental health delivery system for Southwestern Pennsylvania, dedicated to the promotion of recovery from mental illness and return to community living.
Geographical catchment area
The geographic catchment area of Torrance State Hospital includes the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Indiana, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties.