Seeking Inpatient Care Guide

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Inker19, Feb 19, 2014.

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  1. Inker19

    Inker19 Well-Known Member

    If you go to a specialized mental health hospital (in the US) and tell them you have suicidal thoughts, what will happen?
  2. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    Not sure about US Inker but here in uk you see your general practitioner you are registered with, talk to them & if they deem it appropriate they will refer you there & then as a voluntary patient - the other way here in uk is to get yourself committed under the Mental Health Act, which is a section, which once you are a patient at a psychiatric hospital the section is reviewed after 28 days to see if you are suitable for release back into the community - to be sectioned you would have to come to the attention of the police; such as a suicide risk but not a criminal charge

    I am sure the same would apply in th US

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
  3. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    In the US it you can get a referral from a GP but 99% it will be a referral from a psychiatrist. They will encourage you to go on a voluntary status (and will tell tell you quite directly usually when the occasion exists where they are encouraging you to go voluntary however if you refuse they are going to commit anyway. Understand that voluntary commitment does not mean you can just leave any time you want - you can leave any time you want with a 72 hour notice (which happens t be the same amount of time an involuntary commitment lasts unless they have a legal hearing to keep you longer). The same process works whether with your own psychiatrist or psychologist (typically a counselor cannot - they can only recommend to a psychiatrist) or if you end up in an emergency room from suicide attempt. No police are involved in a suicide attempt unless you are uncooperative or unsafe at a hospital and they need to be called for their protection or to restrain you.

    When you get there they will go over the rules , what you can have and can't have (which varies a lot from place to place and is very different in general from the US to Europe where they often allow cell phones and computers but nearly never do in US). You will see a psychiatrist shortly after you go there that will go over meds and make a evaluation of risk rules for the hospital to follow. The mental health hospitals are vastly different from place to place, even withing a local area. Private acute care hospitals tend to be very nice and comfortable with almost a college dormitory room look, while state hospitals and long term care facilities (usually where you end up for any stay of more than a week) tend to be much more drab and more "hospital" look. Nearly all facilities are locked facilities with limited visiting hours. Things like passes and time away will only happen in longterm facilities and probably not for the first week or two there.

    Most places your day will consist of various group therapies and counseling, along with hours set aside for dayroom (watching TV or games). In NY all activities (and meds as well) are voluntary - they will not force you to go to counseling or force meds- however failing to participate or take meds makes it more likely you will be referred to involuntary status. Point systems or color systems where you achieve certain extra privileges based on risk and cooperation are quite common. The biggest issue nearly always is just boredom. The "activities" are typically very boring as well.

    My daughter has been in both long term facilities and acute facilities. The acute visits are most common - under a week long, and designed to do nothing but get you past an immediate crisis, start you on meds or adjust meds if need be, and put a plan in place that requires you to get follow up care. They are not going to "make you better" or cure any problems, just provide a safe place for a few days and allow a plan to be made for continued care. Many people claim that hospital did nothing for them - if it is an acute facility and they saw a psychiatrist once and are alive 3-7 days later then it did everything it is designed to do. It is like an emergency room for mental health - just to get stabilized beyond imminent danger. The problem comes about when the people leave and decide that the follow up care is also a waste of their time.

    In either, if you are cooperative and there with the attitude that you want to be open to ideas and to getting better, actually participate in therapy and do not lie about everything with the purpose of getting out sooner, you can get some benefits from it. Going and then lying the whole time to leave sooner and then telling everybody it didn't help is just a waste of your time as well as resources.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
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