mental health hospital care

Learn about what to expect when you arrive at the hospital with a mental health concern.

How do I or my relative get admitted to the hospital for mental health concerns?

There are two ways that you or your relative with a mental health concern can be admitted into the hospital for care:   

  1. Admission as a voluntary patient: this means the person with a mental health concern comes to the hospital willingly to get treatment. In some cases the person may be referred by their family doctor, community mental health and substance use centre, or other health services, or they may go to the Emergency Room on their own.
  2. Admission as an involuntary patient: this means the person with a mental health concern is brought to hospital against their will for treatment. This happens when the person is not able to seek mental health treatment when needed, cannot be treated safely in the community, there is a chance the person’s mental health will get worse, or that they may hurt him/herself or others.

If you are not sure that you or a relative with mental health concern requires a stay in hospital, you can talk to your family doctor or contact the mental health and substance use centre in your community.

What can I expect when I arrive at the hospital?

When you first arrive at the hospital you may go through the Emergency Room. The doctor, nurse or social worker will ask you some questions about your mental health concerns and other information that will help the team decide whether or not you need a stay in the psychiatric care area.  

  • If you are an adult 19 or older you will be admitted to an adult (psychiatric) inpatient unit.
  • If you are a youth you will be admitted to a youth psychiatric unit

Once a decision is made to admit you to the psychiatric care area, you will be given the first bed available. If there is no bed available at your community hospital, you may be advised to go to another Fraser Health hospital where a bed is available.

Much like other areas of the hospital, you may have to share a room with other patients on the unit. Speak to your care provider if you have any questions about your room arrangement. 

What can I expect during my stay in the hospital?