Going into Hospital
If you have a mental illness, most of your treatment will be outside hospital. Doctors call this treatment in the community. But you may need to go into hospital if you become unwell. This section has practical information about going into hospital. Each hospital is different, so we can only give an overview of what you can expect.
In this section, a 'carer' means anyone who helps you who is not paid, like friends or relatives.
- If you want to go into hospital, the hospital staff might call you a voluntary patient. This means that you can leave if you want to.
- You might have to go into hospital when you don't want to. Doctors call this being detained under the Mental Health Act. If this happens, you will not be able to leave unless the hospital doctor agrees.
- There should always be separate toilets and washing facilities for men and women. Some hospitals have separate wards.
- You can have visitors, but some hospitals only allow visitors at certain times.
- You might get medication, talking therapy and occupational therapy.
- Doctors will speak to you at ward rounds or meetings so they can decide what treatment you need and whether you need to stay in hospital.
- You will be able to wear your own clothes on the ward.
This section covers:
- When will I go into hospital?
- How can I prepare for hospital?
- What is hospital like?
- What sort of ward will I be on?
- Can I see family and friends?
- What care and treatment will I get?
- Can I leave?
- Can my carer help?
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in June 2016. Next review June 2019.
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0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays