From the Department of Human Resources
ATLANTA (GA) - A tornado struck Southwestern State Hospital in Thomasville early Thursday morning, causing extensive structural damage but no injuries to patients or hospital staff.
The mental health facility is operating under secured emergency conditions but is not admitting new patients at this time.
An adult mental health unit building that includes forensic patients sustained severe damage. No incidents or injuries occurred, and all patients were safely evacuated to other buildings on the hospital campus.
Later on Thursday, forensic patients were transferred to West Central Georgia Regional Hospital in Columbus. Some of the remaining patients were transferred to community-based mental health services or were released to their families with physician approval. 158 patients remain safely on campus.
Southwestern State Hospital continues to be on full diversion to either West Central Georgia Regional Hospital in Columbus or Central State Hospital in Milledgeville. The hospital's diversion status is frequently evaluated and new admissions will be permitted as soon as possible.
New patients from the following counties are currently being diverted to West Central Georgia Regional Hospital in Columbus:
New patients from the following counties are currently being diverted to Central State Hospital in Milledgeville:
Southwestern State Hospital is operated by the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases.
The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases encourages residents of the communities affected by recent severe weather to visit the Disaster Mental Health Web site www.georgiadisaster.info.