What to take and what not to take to psychiatric hospital

 

A psychiatric hospital is naturally a very controlled environment, to ensure the patients are kept safe and can be treated effectively while on the ward. Therefore, there are certain things you are allowed to take in to a psychiatric hospital, and other things that are not allowed.

The things you should take into a hospital are the essentials, such as clothing and pyjamas, and toiletries such as toothpaste and a hairbrush.

The clothing you are packing for the hospital need not be flashy – it is likely you will not be doing many active things during your stay in hospital, so bring clothes that you are comfortable in. The same goes for shoes, some hospitals like to do exercise activities, so comfortable footwear is also a good idea. You might even consider bringing in some slippers.

It might be a good idea to bring something along that could entertain you, such as a book, or a notepad you could draw on or write notes in, or an mp3 player if it is allowed by the hospital. There will be a lot of times during the day where you have nothing to do, so something safe that could occupy you is a good idea.

In order to keep the ward safe, your belongings will be searched by a staff member upon your arrival, and they will take possession of any items that are deemed unsuitable to be in your room. The same policy applies for anything visitors might bring in for you, they will also be searched and can be not permitted. Plastic bags should be avoided, and if a visitor brings something in a plastic bag, the bag will be taken by a staff member.

A lot of things that are not permitted in psychiatric hospitals are for the safety of the patients, so naturally you cannot bring in pills, blades, or anything you could potentially hurt yourself with. If you are on medication, it will be dealt with by the hospital and in their possession the whole time. Any deodorant that you bring should be in roll-on, not a spray, and some wards will also disallow compact-mirrors.

Anything you have to bring in that might be conceived as dangerous (such as spray deodorant or a mirror) is likely to be stored in a locker, where staff can access these items for when you need them, and supervise your use. Makeup is generally also put in a locker, and some wards will also disallow mobile phones.

Obviously, razors are not allowed. However, if you are supervised by a member of staff you can shave yourself. Some hospitals allow shampoo to be in a patients possession, while other wards may provide you with their own. The same thing goes for soap.

Most hospitals will be pretty open with you about what you can and cannot bring into the ward, and if you feel you need something that is not allowed, it can simply be locked away and used under staff supervision.

If you have any more concerns about what you can bring in with you to a hospital stay, discuss it with your treating professional or at your hospital admission.