A mental hospital is a term that has been used loosely over the years and carries with it a lot of different meanings for different people. In this article, we will try to provide an overview of mental hospitals, what they are meant for, how they work, and dispel some common myths and stereotypes associated with them. We have also spoken to experts in the field and included a case study to give you a first-hand account of what goes on in these institutions.
Understanding Mental Hospital
A mental hospital is a facility that specializes in the treatment of serious mental illness. In most cases, patients are admitted to these institutions voluntarily or involuntarily by a court order.
What Are They Meant For
Mental hospitals are meant for the treatment of individuals with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, personality disorders, and other serious mental illnesses.
How Do They Work
Mental hospitals are staffed by psychiatrists and nurses that specialize in the treatment of mental illness. A psychiatrist will assess a patient when they first arrive at the facility and recommend a course of action based on their condition. This could include psychotherapy, medications, or a mix of both.
Types Of Mental Hospitals
There are two main types of mental hospitals.
Voluntary Admission Facility
The first is a voluntary admission facility wherein the patient voluntarily seeks treatment and agrees to be admitted into the facility for an indeterminate period, typically at least three months or more. These facilities generally have less stringent rules in place than involuntary admission facilities and give the patient more freedom to come and go as they please.
Involuntary Admission Facility
The second is an involuntary admission facility wherein a patient, who refuses treatment or cannot seek help on their behalf, can be admitted into by court order. In these cases, there are usually two options available for patients. They could either agree to accept treatment voluntarily in which case they are admitted into a voluntary admission facility or be involuntarily committed to the facility wherein their freedom is restricted.
Admitting Into A Mental Hospital
If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness and your condition has reached the point where it is interfering with your ability to function normally. Then you may consider seeking help at a mental hospital. These institutions are meant to provide you with the treatment and care that will allow you to get better so that you can resume your life.
What Is The Process
- The first step in the process of admitting yourself into a mental institution is reaching out for help from friends, family, or medical professionals who can refer you to a mental hospital.
- Once you have been referred to a facility, the next step is usually an assessment by a psychiatrist who will decide whether or not you are eligible for admission.
What Is Psychiatric Assessment
The process is usually done through a series of interview questions that are designed to determine whether or not you need admission into the facility. This usually takes place over several days where doctors have time to observe and get to know you better before making a decision.
As part of this assessment, you will also be asked about your current symptoms and how these are affecting your ability to function normally. You may also be asked about any past episodes, medication use, substance abuse, and any other relevant information.
What Happens After Admittance
Once the assessment is complete, if the doctors feel that you are suitable for admission into a mental hospital then they will inform your family and friends about their decision. So that arrangements can be made accordingly. After this process has been completed, you will be required to sign all of the necessary forms before being admitted as an inpatient.
After you get admitted into the facility, you will be assigned a psychiatrist who will oversee your treatment plan. This typically includes individual therapy, group therapy sessions with other patients at the facility. As well as medication management by a nurse or doctor on staff at the hospital itself.
Usually, after six months of treatment in an outpatient setting, patients are discharged back into the community where they can continue to receive treatment in an outpatient setting.
How Long Is The Inpatient Stay
The length of your stay in the mental hospital will depend on your condition and how well you respond to treatment. Most patients are discharged after six months, though some may stay longer if they require additional treatment.
NOTE: The average length of stay in a mental hospital is three months or more, depending on your condition and severity of symptoms.
What You Must Know Beforehand
Before you decide to commit yourself to a mental hospital, there are several things that you should know beforehand.
- First off, getting admittance into the facility means giving up your right to privacy. As well as any other rights that you may have. It will require sharing your room with other patients. And it can sometimes lead to conflict if there is any disagreement between them.
- Also, the hospital itself will not allow any visitors except for immediate family members. Unless they have approval by a doctor on staff at the facility. It also means that you must leave all of your personal belongings at home.
- Another thing you should be aware of is that the hospital will not allow you to leave without permission from a doctor. So, if you are feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable during your stay, it is important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
Looking For Good Mental Facility
If you are looking for a good mental hospital to commit yourself to, you must do your research first.
- First of all, you should make sure that the hospital has a license from the state. And has accreditation by either The Joint Commission or CARF International.
- It is also important to look at the staff-to-patient ratio to make sure that there will be enough nurses and doctors on staff to oversee your care.
- You should also check to see if the hospital offers a variety of treatment options, including individual and group therapy sessions. As well as psychiatric services and medication management.
- It is also important to make sure that the hospital has a good reputation and that patients have generally been happy with their experience. You can do this by reading online reviews or contacting previous patients directly.
- Finally, it is important to consider the cost of admission as well as any insurance coverage you may have.
If you are looking for a mental hospital in your area, there are several different ways to go about finding one that suits your needs.
How To Fact Check A Mental Hospital
If you are unsure about whether or not a mental hospital is right for you, there are several ways to fact-check them.
- First, you can check the hospital’s accreditation with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This organization sets national standards for quality healthcare. And only hospitals with accreditation have permission to display their seal.
- You can also check the hospital’s website to see if they have any complaints filed against them. If you find that a facility is shut due to poor patient care or other issues, this could be a sign of trouble ahead.
Finding Mental Health Facility Near You
The first step is to search for a mental health facility near you. You can do this by using an online directory such as the American Psychological Association’s website or Mental Health America (MHA). After finding some options, contact them directly and ask questions about their services.
Then, find out if they offer any kind of financial aid or discounts. And whether any requirements you need to meet before getting admittance into the facility. Also, ask how long you will have to stay once admitted so you can plan accordingly.
Deciding A Mental Health Facility
After doing your research on various mental health facilities, if you still feel like one of them may be right for you, the next step is to talk to a mental health professional.
They can help you assess your symptoms and determine whether or not a facility would be beneficial in your case. They will also be able to guide how to choose the right hospital for yourself.
NOTE: If you are feeling suicidal or homicidal, it is important to go to the nearest emergency room instead of a mental health facility.
Breaking Associated Stereotypes
It’s important to break the associated stereotypes that come with mental hospitals.
- First off, not all patients who get admittance into a mental hospital are dangerous or unstable. Many of them are just like you and me – they may be going through a tough time and need some help to get back on track.
- Second, not all mental hospitals are dark and gloomy; some of them even have beautiful gardens where patients can relax and enjoy themselves while receiving treatment.
- Finally, many people believe that mental hospitals are places only for the mentally ill but this isn’t true either! They have people who simply need a little extra support during difficult times. Just like any other hospital would do.
What You Need To Check Beforehand
- It’s important to do your research before deciding to commit yourself to a mental hospital.
- First, you should check the hospital’s licensing and accreditation status. You can do this by contacting your state’s department of health or visiting their website.
- Second, you should read reviews from past patients and their families. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from the hospital and how well they treat their patients.
- Finally, you should contact your insurance company to find out if they will cover any of the costs associated with inpatient mental health treatment.
How You Can Fact-check Things
It’s also important that you fact-check the information provided by the mental hospital before making your decision.
- One way to do this is by contacting your state’s department of health and asking for a copy of the hospital’s license. This will prove that they have the authorization to provide inpatient mental health treatment in your state.
- You can also contact past patients or their families and ask them about their experience with the hospital. Were they happy with the care that they received? Would they recommend it to others?
- Finally, you can contact your insurance company and ask them about the coverage they provide for inpatient mental health treatment. This will give you a good idea of how much the hospital will cost you out-of-pocket.
Hearing From Experts
It’s important to hear from experts when making your decision because they know what to look for in a good facility.
Here are some things that you should ask them:
- Is it well-staffed?
- Do they have a good reputation?
- What type of treatment does this hospital provide?
- Are there any particular types of patients that they specialize in treating?
You can also ask them for personal recommendations; either for individual hospitals or treatment programs.
Hearing From Mental Health Patients
Once you have decided that committing yourself to a mental hospital is the right decision for you, it can be helpful to hear from people who have been in your position before.
It can be comforting to know what others have experienced and how they dealt with various situations. You can listen to their stories on social media sites. Such as YouTube or Facebook, reading blogs written by former patients, or even searching for support groups in your area. Here you can find people who share similar experiences meet up regularly (many of these meetings take place online).
You can also contact mental health professionals like therapists and psychiatrists who have worked with patients at hospitals for years. They will be able to provide insight into what happens each day when you get admittance. Such as:
- the different kinds of treatments offered there (such as medication),
- and how often those treatments occur over time.
Jackie had always been a bit of an introvert and she had never been very comfortable around people. So, when she started experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks, she didn’t know what to do.
Her family was very supportive but they couldn’t help her through it because they weren’t sure how either. Jackie felt like she had no one to talk to and that made things worse for her. One night, while lying awake in bed, she thought about killing herself. So that everyone would be better off without her.
Thankfully, Jackie’s husband found out what she was planning and he convinced her to go to the ER. After talking with the doctors there, they recommended that she go to a mental hospital for treatment.
At first, Jackie was hesitant but after discussing it with her family, she decided to give it a try. The hospital was very nice and the staff was extremely helpful. Jackie stayed there for about a month and she learned a lot about herself during that time.
Mental hospitals can be a great resource for people who are struggling with their mental health.
However, it’s important to do your research beforehand to make sure you’re choosing the right one.
You should also be sure to fact-check the information provided by the hospital. So that you can make an informed decision.
Finally, it’s important to hear from experts about what to look for in a good mental hospital. This will help you choose the right one for you or your loved one.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.