Psychiatric Hospital

What is it?

A psychiatric hospital, sometimes referred to as a mental health hospital, is a place for people in need of treatment for severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and others.

Psychiatric hospitals are built and designed to be safe environments for patients to receive intensive treatment for their mental health conditions. A person might be admitted if they:

  • Have had a change in medication that requires close monitoring
  • Are at high risk of harming themselves or someone else
  • Have serious mental health symptoms that cannot be treated effectively in the community
  • Require a mental health assessment or treatment following a suicide attempt

Stays in a psychiatric hospital are intended to last only long enough to resolve the most urgent issues as recommended by a doctor or healthcare professional—generally a few days to a few weeks. The patient is usually included in the creation and upkeep of their treatment plan, including their goals for treatment and how facility staff and doctors can help patients achieve those goals.

Why is it important?

The most important reason why going to a psychiatric hospital is important is if a patient’s mental health symptoms are too severe to be effectively, quickly or safely treated in the community or in their own home.