The Right Clothes for Mental Health Inpatient Treatment
When you enter a mental health facility, you must follow the rules established by that facility. These rules cover a wide variety of issues. That includes the types of clothes you can wear. The right Clothing for Mental Health Treatment is not always the same.
However, all facilities will designate some items as acceptable and others as unacceptable. Awareness of what applies in your case will help smooth entry into your chosen program.
Differences Between the Two Main Types of Inpatient Facilities
There are two main types of inpatient mental health facilities: residential centers and hospitals. The facilities within these categories vary in a number of different ways. And included among those differences are the kinds of clothing items you can bring and wear.
Why do residential centers and hospitals have their own typical clothing policies? Generally speaking, the differences reflect the goals and setting of each type of facility.
Residential treatment is a non-hospitalized inpatient option. You qualify for this option if you:
- Cannot get your recovery needs met through outpatient treatment
- Lack mental, behavioral or physical conditions that call for hospitalization
All residential facilities provide frequent treatments for your illness. However, they do not provide the same level of intensive monitoring as a hospital.
In contrast, psychiatric hospitals specialize in intensive medical monitoring and treatment. Reasons for requiring this kind of help include:
- Being a risk to the safety of other people
- Posing a risk to your own safety through suicide or other actions
- Having a psychotic break or other acute mental health crisis
Some people make their own decision to enter a hospital. However, many people are involuntarily committed to hospitalized psychiatric care.
What to Pack for Residential Psychiatric Treatment
What should you pack for residential psychiatric treatment? As a rule, facilities strive to strike a balance between comfort and appropriate clothing choices. With this in mind, you are typically encouraged to bring:
- Several changes of clothing
- Slip-on shoes
- Clothes to sleep in
Bring clothing suited for the time of year. But be aware that, especially in warmer weather, your options may be limited. Why? Certain types of clothing can be disruptive to the facility’s environment. Many of these items are more commonly worn in spring or summer. The list of inappropriate clothing at the average facility includes:
- Skirts or shorts that come higher than your knee
- Tank tops
- Shoes with high heels
- Anything that is see-through
- Any item that lets other people see your underwear
- Other types of revealing clothing
Even in colder months, you may not be allowed to wear some kinds of season-appropriate clothing. That includes shirts that:
- Advertise or refer to drugs or alcohol
- Contain obscenities
- Have certain kinds of images on them
In addition, your facility may not allow other kinds of clothing, no matter the time of year. Examples here include shoelaces and boots.
They also include any type of clothing with a drawstring. In addition, they include clothes hangers. Safety concerns help explain the exclusion of these items.
What to Pack for a Psychiatric Hospital
As with residential facilities, the psychiatric hospital dress code varies. Variations may even occur inside the same facility. That is true, in part, because of the differences between voluntary and involuntary admission.
Depending on your situation, you may or may not be able to bring your own clothes. If you can bring them, you will have to follow rules similar to those found in residential facilities. If you cannot bring them, you will have to wear items provided by your hospital. Typical items provided in these circumstance include:
- A robe
Why do some hospitals have such restrictive clothing policies? People who require hospitalization suffer from extreme mental health issues.
In many cases, they cannot act on their own behalf. They might not even be able to understand what is happening to them.
Taken together, these factors contribute to a more volatile treatment environment. This means that issues regarding clothing have a higher chance of leading to significant conflicts. By giving everyone the same clothes to wear, the risk for conflict can be reduced.
Other Things Not Allowed in a Mental Health Facility
You must do more than consider the right clothes for mental health inpatient stays. In addition, you must consider other things not allowed in a mental health facility. As with clothing, the list of these things will vary from facility to facility. Still, certain types of excluded items are common. That includes things such as:
- Razors or any other sharp items
- Certain kinds of jewelry
- Drugs other than your prescribed medications
- Curling irons
- Hair driers
- Any aerosol products
- Matches or lighters
- Any item with a cord
- Large amounts of cash
Personal phones or computers may or may not be allowed in your facility. If they are allowed, you may only have access to them at certain times of the day. Several factors help explain these kinds of policies. One big issue is the sophistication of the average phone and computer.
Today, phones not only allow you to call another person. They also provide you with:
- Internet access
- A camera with video and still capabilities
- The ability to store and play any kind of audio recording
If you had access to these functions at all times, the effectiveness of your treatment could be harmed. You could even end up making the symptoms of your illness worse. In addition, you could end up causing the same kinds of problems for other people in your facility.
Items to Make Your Stay More Comfortable
As long as you follow the rules, facilities encourage you to bring items that make your stay more comfortable. What types of items fall into this category? Common examples include:
- Personal journals
- Crossword puzzles or similar types of puzzles
- Favored toiletries
- Lip balm
Can You Decorate Your Living Area
At home, many people feel better when they can decorate their surroundings according to their tastes. Can you decorate your living area in a mental health facility? That depends on your situation.
If you have a private room in a residential facility, some decorations may be allowed. However, that is not always the case. You may also lack that opportunity if you share housing with other people.
A psychiatric facility may have stronger restrictions on decorating. You or your loved one can ask about the decoration policies at your particular facility.
Choosing Emerald Isle for Your Stay
What to pack for residential psychiatric treatment? That depends on the policies in place at your facility. The same fact holds true for psychiatric hospitals. All facilities do what they can to maximize your comfort.
However, they must balance comfort with other considerations. A key consideration is making sure that your clothing does not distract from treatment. That includes your treatment and that of others.
Each facility sets its own terms on allowable clothing. It also determines which kinds of clothes you cannot bring. Generally speaking, psychiatric hospitals will restrict your choices more than residential centers.
In fact, some hospitals require everyone to wear the same combination of pajamas, slippers and a robe.
In addition to clothing restrictions, you will find restrictions on other types of items. The list of forbidden items is not always the same.
However, it typically includes everything from alcohol to sharp objects. You may also find restrictions on options for decorating your living space.
Bear in mind that there are reasons for all of these limitations. Residential centers and hospitals have the common goal of helping you recover from serious mental health issues. In a well-designed program, every policy reflects this overall mission.
The focus of the treatment environment means that you must make certain adjustments when you enroll. You may not like some of the restrictions place on your choices.
But they exist because they make it easier to provide you with the help you need for effective recovery.
To make your entry as trouble-free as possible, ask your facility about its clothing policies before your arrival. Do the same regarding its policies for other items and for décor options. Make sure you review the supplied list of dos and don’ts.
If you have any questions, ask them before enrollment begins. In some cases, you may need to ask questions on behalf of your loved ones who are entering treatment.
Need residential treatment for a mental health condition? Choose Emerald Isle Recovery for your stay. We feature programs for people with all major mental illnesses. In addition, we can help you recover from the combined effects of mental illness and drug or alcohol problems.
Every treatment plan at Emerald Isle is customized for your specific situation. We feel that this is the only way for you to take full advantage of our many treatment options.
Contact us today to learn more about our residential program. We are happy to answer any and all questions. That includes questions about our policies on clothing and other items you can bring with you when you enroll.