My loved one is being discharged from inpatient treatment. What can I do to help?
Discharge from a psychiatric hospital is a critical time for many people. It’s important to be prepared before your loved one leaves the hospital to ensure continuity of care and support. Otherwise, they could experience a setback or crisis.
Prior to discharge is the best time to advocate with the facility for ongoing mental health and community social services. If you or another family member will assume the role of caregiver, it is crucial to be involved in all discharge discussions. Family members can be effective advocates for support and services moving forward.
Working with the hospital’s providers, social workers and/or case managers will design a discharge plan that meets your loved one’s needs for transitional support services and continuing mental health care. Coordination of ongoing social services and community support services can also be integrated into a discharge plan.
You may wish to consult a sample discharge planning checklist. Some of the items you should be address in a discharge plan include:
- A relationship with a psychiatrist and including scheduling the first appointment. Be sure to ask hospital staff to provide your loved one with prescriptions or medications for the next 30 days.
- Options for participation in the hospital’s outpatient day program where individuals can receive treatment and therapeutic services during the day and may return home each evening.
- Community housing or group home placement if needed.
- Community mental health and social services, including a case manager and/or social worker.
- Caregiver support services.