What to Pack for Inpatient Mental Health Treatment

March 5, 2024

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Embarking on an inpatient mental health program represents a significant move toward healing and prioritizing your overall health.

While the thought of residential treatment might seem overwhelming, you can make your stay as comfortable as possible by learning what to pack for a hospital stay and what to leave at home.

Preparing for Inpatient Treatment

Preparing for inpatient treatment involves thoughtful consideration and planning, ensuring that you bring along what will support your healing journey while leaving behind anything that might hinder your progress. Here’s how to prepare your packing list for hospital stay:

  • Essential personal items: Start with the basics, including comfortable clothing, personal hygiene products, and any necessary medical aids like glasses or contact lenses. Comfort is key, so choose clothes that are easy to wear and appropriate for various activities and therapies you’ll participate in.
  • Emotional comfort items: Consider packing items that provide emotional comfort and connection – photos of loved ones, a favorite book, or a small personal keepsake, for instance. These items can offer solace and a sense of familiarity in a new environment.
  • Journal and writing supplies: A journal or notebook and pens can be invaluable during your stay. Journaling is a powerful tool for self-reflection, processing experiences, and tracking your progress through treatment.
  • Self-care and relaxation tools: Items that promote relaxation and self-care, such as stress balls, coloring books, or a calming playlist can enhance your ability to manage stress and engage in self-soothing practices.
  • Avoiding potential distractions: Leave behind items that could disrupt your focus on recovery. Prohibited electronics, valuables, and any materials that could trigger distress or relapse should remain at home.
  • Documentation and contact information: Ensure that you have all necessary documentation, including identification, insurance information, and any medical records that the treatment center may require. Also, have a list of important contact numbers, even if you won’t have direct access to your phone during your stay.
  • Consult the facility’s guidelines: Each treatment center has its own set of rules and recommendations for what to bring and what to leave at home. Before packing, check with the facility for a packing list or guidelines to ensure that you comply with their policies and make the most of your stay.

Preparing for inpatient treatment not only involves packing physical items but also mentally and emotionally preparing for the journey ahead. Engage in positive self-talk, set intentions for your recovery, and remind yourself of the reasons you’re choosing to embark on this path. By arriving prepared, you’re taking a proactive step toward embracing the healing process.

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What to Pack for Psychiatric Hospital

When preparing for inpatient treatment, packing the right items can significantly impact your comfort and experience.  Here’s what to pack for inpatient mental health treatment:

  • Clothing: Pack enough casual and comfortable clothing to last you three or four days. Choose items without drawstrings for your safety and convenience. Remember, washers and dryers will be available for your use.
  • Footwear: Pack slip-on or Velcro athletic shoes, as shoes with laces are not permitted. This ensures ease of use and complies with safety guidelines.
  • Photos: Bring unframed photos of your family to keep your loved ones close during your stay, offering comfort and connection.
  • Medications: Include any necessary personal medications like inhalers, birth control pills, and antibiotics. While the facility provides most medications, having a current and accurate list of your medications and dosages is essential.
  • Cash: You may bring up to $20 in cash, preferably in small bills for vending machines.
  • Cigarettes or vapes: If you smoke, you are allowed to bring cigarettes, but only unopened packs are permitted. Lighters will be provided by the facility. Check with the facility concerning regulations for vapes.
  • Insurance card: If applicable, bring your insurance card to streamline the administrative process.

Always check the specific guidelines of the facility to ensure compliance and readiness for your stay. Packing appropriately not only helps you adhere to the rules but also contributes to a more comfortable and stress-free recovery period.

What Not to Pack for Inpatient Treatment

When preparing for inpatient treatment, be mindful of items that are normally not allowed within the facility to ensure safety and compliance with the program’s guidelines.  Now you know what to pack for psychiatric hospital, here’s what to avoid:

  • Electronic gadgets: Cell phones, iPads, iPods, computers, cameras, and other recording devices may be prohibited to maintain privacy and focus on recovery.
  • Clothing restrictions: Avoid clothing with rips or tears, offensive language, hoodies, and leggings. Also, belts, shoelaces, boots, drawstrings, and adjustable waists are not permitted for safety reasons.
  • Jewelry and valuables: Leave expensive jewelry and other valuable items at home to prevent loss or damage.
  • Prohibited personal items: Underwire bras, razors, razor blades, pencils, pens, plastic bags, glass items, sharp objects like scissors or pocket knives, lighters, and matches should not be packed.
  • Comfort items: While personal pillows, bedding, blankets, and stuffed animals might seem comforting, they are not allowed. Specific items required for comfort due to medical conditions will be provided by the facility.
  • Food and beverages: Food items, including candy or beverages in aluminum cans, are not permitted to ensure that dietary and safety regulations are met.
  • Walking aids: Personal walking devices are not allowed. That said, the facility will provide wheelchairs if mobility assistance is needed.
  • Medications: With the exception of items like antibiotics, inhalers, and birth control pills, all medications will be provided by the facility to ensure proper dosing and safety.
  • Beauty products: Nail polish, nail polish remover, hair dyes, or hair chemicals are restricted. Personal hygiene items are provided by the facility, but if specific products are needed due to allergies, a doctor’s order will be required.
  • Paracord jewelry: Items like paracord bracelets are not allowed within the facility.

Refer to the entry guidelines of the inpatient program you’re entering for a detailed list of prohibited items. This preparation helps create a safe and conducive environment for everyone’s recovery journey.

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Get Inpatient Mental Health Treatment at Connections

If you or someone that you love needs inpatient mental health treatment in California, reach out to Connections.

We provide immersive and highly structured treatment for all types of mental health conditions at our luxury beachside facility. We admit no more than six people at one time, ensuring that you receive personalized attention alongside the support of peers undergoing similar challenges.

Expect to access personalized and targeted treatments that may include medication management, talk therapies, motivational therapies, counseling, and holistic interventions.

Call admissions today at 844-759-0999 and start living unconstrained by mental health conditions.

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