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Treatment

Of the 5.4 million people who sought mental health treatment in 1990, less than 7% required hospitalization. More than half of those who needed inpatient-care had schizophrenia, one of the most severe forms of mental illness. If you or someone you know may have a mental illness, the chances are that you will not need hospitalization. But, if you do, the following information will help assure you of the best care possible.

Questions To Ask


  • Has the person been professionally evaluated? By whom? Do I understand the diagnosis?
  • If the patient has not been evaluated, why am I seeking admission for the person?
  • A doctor's recommendation?
  • Need to have patient removed from family situation? Why? Because of behavioral problems? What are they? Because family cannot care for him or her? Why?
  • What symptoms is the patient exhibiting which cause concern?

Ask the Hospital/Treatment Center at Check-In


  • Does your facility treat patients only for this specific diagnosis?
  • If the patient has other health or emotional problems will he/she receive treatment for these problems also?
  • Does your facility require tests when admitted? If so, what are they?
  • Who will perform these tests?
  • Who will evaluate the patient when he/she is admitted?
  • What are the person's qualifications/ title?
  • Will this person continue to treat the patient?
  • Will the patient be seen by this professional on a regular basis?
  • When will the initial evaluation take place?

During the Patient's Stay


  • When can I (or another family member) talk to the therapist or doctor?
  • Will we be able to discuss treatment with the doctor or therapist? When? How often?
  • When can family members visit? For how long?
  • Will the patient be allowed to receive phone calls?
  • Will the patient have a daily schedule of activities or treatments?
  • If so, what activities will the patient be involved in? Is therapy group or private and is it part of the treatment plan?
  • What clothes should the patient bring?
  • How long will the patient be at the facility? Who makes this decision?
  • Will the family be advised of changes in treatment?
  • Who will make the evaluation for discharging the patient? When will this happen?

Leaving the Hospital


  • Will someone advise the patient and family about adjustment concerns such as the need for further counseling or a medication schedule?
  • What can we expect when the patient is discharged?
  • Will he/she be on medications? Which ones?
  • How will these medications help? Are they habit-forming? What are the side effects? What is the dosage?
  • How long will the patient have to take this medication?
  • If the patient leaves the hospital without permission how will the hospital handle this?
  • If this occurs, what is the parent or family's responsibility?
  • Will the patient be able to continue school work while in the hospital? Or how soon after he or she is discharged?
  • If classes are offered to patients, what are they and who teaches them?
  • What follow-up treatment or support group options should the family and patient consider?

Financial and Insurance Issues


Ask the treatment center and/or insurance company the following questions:

  • Does the hospital accept this type of insurance? If not, what are the alternatives? If it does, what is covered?
  • Can coverage be reviewed with a member of the staff?
  • Are there separate charges and how much are they for physicians, therapists or caretakers? What may these separate charges be?
  • How are fees assessed?
  • When will billing occur?
  • If insurance only covers part of the cost, what other arrangements can be made for payments?
  • Is there other assistance available? Will the facility accept partial payments or payments on a schedule?

Ask The Therapist:

  • What can the patient and family expect during the treatment process?
  • What can be the expected reactions/behaviors of the patient?
  • How should the family respond?
  • How can the patient and family prepare for unexpected behavior and possible setbacks?

For more information call The Brook Hospital at 502-426-6380 or 1-800-866-8876, contact your local Mental Health Association, community mental health center, or:

National Mental Health Association
2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone 703/684-7722
Fax 703/684-5968
Mental Health Resource Center 800/969-NMHA
TTY Line 800/433-5959

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Public Inquiries and Information Resources
5600 Fishers Lane, Rm 7C-02
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone 301-443-4513

Also read NMHA�s "Mental Illness in the Family: Recognizing the Warning Signs and How to Cope."

Help is Just a Phone Call Away


We cannot offer diagnosis, counseling or recommendations online, but an Assessment and Referral specialist is available 24 hours/7 days a week at 502.426.6380. If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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