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What to Expect During an Inpatient Hospital Stay

The first time you are admitted to a mental health center can be an intimidating and stressful experience. Our goal is to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. This guide will help you understand what to expect at admission and during your stay.

Your time with us is intended to restore emotional stability in the least restrictive environment possible. Our open, barrier-free environment is designed to allow you freedom to find a space you feel most comfortable, give you access to staff members at all times, and keep you safe. You will gain tools to help develop self-awareness and insight, effective coping skills and following discharge to get access to community resources for continued treatment.

What are Inpatient Services?

Jonas Hill Hospital provides short-term crisis stabilization for those who have a mental illness and/or mental illness with co-occurring substance use disorder. The program therapies and activities are designed to improve coping skills, encourage independence, self-reliance, and provide education in management of mental illness and addiction.

Inter-Disciplinary Team

Our highly skilled staff includes board-certified psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, nursing assistants; Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, as well as state licensed Recreational Therapists.

How long will I stay?

The length of stay is based on individual needs and treatment plans. The treatment team meets Monday through Friday (or, as needed, on weekends) to discuss treatment options for each patient and determine an appropriate discharge plan.

Discharge Planning

Discharge planning is an important part of the treatment process. The social worker coordinates discharge planning with the patient and the interdisciplinary team.

The staff works with you in helping to set realistic discharge goals and arrangements. The social worker coordinates with the community agencies for follow-up sessions and referrals. You, your treatment team, and your physician determine your discharge dates. If you wish to leave before the recommended discharge date, you must submit a written request for discharge. Your physician will then meet with you to discuss your request.

When the discharge is against the advice of a physician, prescriptions may not be provided upon discharge.

North Carolina State Law states that you can be kept in the hospital for up to 72 hours while a discharge status is determined if the physician requires further observation to determine whether or not you are a danger to yourself or others. Patients who violate JHH policies or create an unsafe environment may be administratively discharged.

Visiting Hours


Tuesday and Friday from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM.

Visitors are only permitted in designated visitation areas. Visitation is limited to 2 visitors at a time- this includes children. Children under 12 cannot be left unattended in the waiting area. For safety and comfort of all our patients and guests, there may be restrictions due to extenuating circumstances, such as Covid-19, seasonal flu, etc.

All items brought in by visitors must be checked in at the security desk. Your visitation privileges may be restricted should any visitor bring in and/or pass any unchecked items to patients.

What Is Expected of You?

During hospitalization, you are expected to participate in all group therapy sessions and scheduled activities, as this is part of the treatment. The group sessions and activities have been designed to enhance socialization, communication, coping skills, education, and relapse prevention.

Dress Code

You are encouraged to be dressed every day. Comfortable street clothes are recommended. Refrain from clothing that is revealing or has suggestive writing; examples would be drinking logos, sexually provocative, cursing, etc.

Patients may not have belts, strings, ties or laces without a doctor’s order. Only bring 3 days’ worth of clothing. Good hygiene is strongly encouraged. Staff may assist with shaving needs as they arise.

Personal Belongings

Personal belongings are checked upon admission by staff members for the protection and safety of all patients and staff. Objects that may be considered dangerous are inventoried and kept in a secure area.

Items that are not permitted:

Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, are not allowed on the unit and will be sent home or inventoried and secured at the time of admission. All products that list alcohol as one of the first three (3) ingredients are prohibited.

Other items that are not allowed on the unit include, but are not limited to: balloons, bandanas, cameras, cell phones, computers (of any kind), activity trackers such as but not limited to fit bit, smart watches, duffel bags, electrical cords, nail files, glass, hair dye, lighters, matches, metal hair picks, nail polish, nail polish remover, necklaces, pantyhose, perfume or cologne, plastic bags, purses, ropes, scarves, soda cans, steel toed boots, strings, ribbons, bows, razors, hair dryers, curling/flat irons, suitcases, wave caps and weapons, MP3 Players, lpods, hoodies, E-cigs or vaporizers.

Staff reserves the right to assess all items for safety regardless if it is included in this list.

Items stored in the safe

Any items that are stored in the safe must remain there until the patient is discharged from JHH. Items that must be kept in the safe included, but are not limited to cell phones, checks, credit cards, drivers’ licenses, food stamps, insurance cards, keys, money, Medicaid/Medicare cards, necklaces, wallets, and any other jewelry or items that the patient would like to keep safe until discharged. Upon arrival to JHH, if the patient has tobacco products, those items will be secured until the patient is discharged.

Daily Schedule
The Program Schedule

The program schedule is posted in the unit commons area. The program allows some free periods to give patients time to reflect and to use knowledge learned in group therapy. Group participation is highly encouraged to learn beneficial coping skills in conjunction with medication stabilization.


In order to encourage and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you are asked to be in bed by 11:00 pm. Patients need plenty of rest to focus on improving their health and wellness. At bedtime the phones are turned off and the group rooms are closed and will not reopen until 6:00 am.


A callout or list of important links can go in a block like this. It could also have a button in it.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the patient dining room. Snacks are provided three times daily in addition to scheduled meals. All patients are observed during meals to ensure safety.


A washer and dryer are available for patient use on the unit. Laundry room availability is anytime outside of group times. Linens are located in the clean supply room across from the nurses’ station. Patients are responsible for changing their own linens which should be changed as often as needed. Please do not mix laundry with other patients. Linens are for use on the unit and may not be taken home.

Medical Records

A medical record on each patient’s progress and treatment is kept during hospitalization. The medical record is a confidential document that cannot be shared with anyone other than the patient’s treatment team, unless authorized by the patient. The medical record contains information on each patient’s progress and evaluations. Questions regarding the medical record may be asked. Patients must request a release of information from medical records to receive their chart. Medical records requested will be available two (2) weeks after the discharge date. You can also sign up on My UNC chart as instructed in your discharge paperwork. Upon discharge, patients will be asked to sign a release of information form that allows our staff to send a discharge summary to your primary care physician and any referral agencies.

Personal Boundaries

Family members may call the nurses’ station to speak to patients only in case of an emergency. However, your presence on the unit will only be acknowledged if the person’s name appears on your Release of Information Communication List found in your medical record. Family involvement is at the request of the patient or family with the patient’s consent or to formulate discharge plans. Social workers will assist patients with phone calls requiring confidentiality.

Spiritual Needs

Psychiatric Services staff recognizes that patients also have spiritual needs. Patients who wish to meet with their own minister or spiritual advisor may do so by appointment.