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Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read

Going to hospital

Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read


There are times when a young person’s mental health condition or illness is severe or there is a worry that they might try to harm themselves and they need to go to hospital.

A mental health hospital or unit is where you can receive intensive support and treatment by a team of trained mental health professionals. These include doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists and support workers.

Everyone there wants the very best for you and will work with you to get you back home.

If you go into hospital, you will go to a ward that is run by CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and is called an ‘inpatient unit’.

Inpatient units care for young people 24/7, everyday of the year. At an inpatient unit, you will be assessed by a psychiatrist (mental health doctor) and their team. They will then create a care plan or treatment plan which is the steps they will take to help you recover. This might be taking some medication, having therapy to understand the reasons you became unwell or having treatment that you are refusing to have at home.

Before going to hospital you will have a mental health act assessment, these are guidelines that mental health professionals have to follow to make sure going to hospital is really needed and is in your best interest.

You might not agree to go into the hospital, but if mental health professionals think that it is in your best interest then you will still have to go. Even though you might not have a choice about going to hospital, you should always be involved in talking about your treatment and recovery and how you like to be cared for whilst in hospital. These are your patient rights.

At the unit you will have your own room and you can bring in some personal items to make it feel more comfortable. Your family will be encouraged to come and visit you, however to begin these visits might need to take place on the unit rather than at home or in the community. As you get better these visits can change and young people are encouraged to spend time with family at home. The team supporting you will let you know how and when your family can visit.

Although each young persons unit is different, most will have some set routines and structures these might include:

  • Meal times
  • Medication times
  • Activities
  • Education
  • Group support
  • Meetings with your nurse or doctor

Needing to stay in an inpatient unit might feel scary or confusing but it’s important to remember that you’re there because people care for you and want you to get better.

Your Mind Matters

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