When a person is admitted to a mental hospital, they may find themselves overwhelmed with the situation. It can be challenging to know what items are essential and allowed at these facilities.
If you or someone you know is going through this experience, it’s crucial to understand what you can bring to ensure comfort and ease during your stay. While the rules may vary between hospitals, we’ve put together a list of suggestions that could help anyone prepare for their time in a mental health facility.
“It’s not always easy to navigate what’s expected of you when you’re dealing with mental illness. Having a clear understanding of what you can bring helps take one small burden off your plate.” -Unknown
Our guide covers everything from basic necessities like clothing and toiletries to activities that can promote relaxation and wellness. We hope our insight will provide some peace of mind and support as you prepare for your upcoming admission.
Read on to discover the ultimate checklist of items that can make all the difference while staying in a mental health care facility. Let’s dive into it!
If you or someone you love is in a mental hospital, bringing comforting items can make a big difference in improving their overall mood and well-being. Below are some items that may provide comfort in such situations:
A soft blanket can be a source of comfort for many people, especially those who struggle with anxiety or depression. It provides warmth and familiarity, which in turn creates a sense of security and calmness. The tactile sensation of the material can also have a soothing effect on the senses.
“We all need something to help us unwind at the end of the day. You might have a glass of wine, or a joint, or a big delicious blob of heroin to silence your silly brainbox of its witterings but there has to be some form of punctuation, or life just seems utterly relentless.” -Russell Brand
If you’re not sure what kind of blanket to choose, consider one made of materials like fleece or microfiber, as they tend to be softer and more snuggly than other options. Additionally, blankets with calming colors such as blues and greens may promote relaxation.
Aromatherapy candles can aid in creating a relaxing atmosphere by filling the room with pleasant scents. Studies show that certain scents can have a calming effect on the nervous system, thereby reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. For example, lavender is known for its tranquilizing properties, while vanilla has been shown to induce feelings of comfort and relaxation.
“Scent tells stories; it reverberates with memories and opens doors onto invisible landscapes. At once powerful and ephemeral, smells evoke existential experiences that belong to us all, triggering both individual and collective associations, illuminating cultural trends and cross-currents.” -Diane Ackerman
When choosing aromatherapy candles, opt for all-natural options made with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances. Additionally, consider purchasing candles that come with a soy or beeswax base, which burns cleaner than paraffin wax.
For some individuals, stuffed animals can be a source of comfort and security. They provide a sense of companionship, especially in situations where the individual may feel alone or isolated. Soft textures can also have a calming effect on the nervous system, thereby promoting relaxation.
“I’m into bears; I love them big, soft, and round, such as Teddy Bears and Real Bears (particularly if they’re not eating me).” -Thom Yorke
If you’re considering bringing a stuffed animal to someone in a mental hospital, consider asking them about their preferences first. Some individuals may prefer a particular type of animal or color scheme over others. It’s also important to ensure that the stuffed animal is clean and free of potential allergens.
In addition to their pain-relieving properties, heating pads can also promote relaxation by increasing blood flow and reducing muscle tension. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who struggle with anxiety or depression, as these conditions often manifest in physical symptoms like headaches and back pain.
“If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” -Marvin J. Ashton
When selecting a heating pad, it’s important to choose one with a low-heat setting in order to avoid burning the skin. Additionally, opt for a washable cover, as this can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
- Overall, bringing comforting items to someone in a mental hospital can be a simple but effective way of showing your support. It’s important to remember that each person may have different preferences for what they find comforting, so consider asking them or their healthcare provider before making any purchases.
- The above-listed items are just a few examples of things that might bring comfort to individuals in emotional distress. Other options might include playing soothing music, providing snacks that the individual enjoys, or giving them a handwritten note expressing your love and support.
Books and Magazines
If you are planning to stay in a mental hospital, bringing along some of your favorite fiction novels can be an excellent way to pass the time. Whether it’s a classic like “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee or a more contemporary bestseller like “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, books can provide a much-needed escape from the stresses of everyday life.
No matter what genre you prefer, there is sure to be a novel out there that will capture your imagination and help you relax during your stay. Just make sure to check with the hospital beforehand to see if they have any restrictions on what types of books are allowed.
Health and Wellness Magazines
Mental health is just as important as physical health, which is why magazines focused on wellness can be a great resource for patients in a mental hospital. Publications like “Yoga Journal” offer advice on exercise and stress-reducing techniques, while others like “Mindful Magazine” focus specifically on mindfulness-based practices.
Browsing through these kinds of magazines can also introduce patients to new strategies for managing their symptoms and maintaining good mental health once they leave the hospital. Plus, many of them have articles written by people who have gone through similar experiences themselves, which can help patients feel less alone.
You might not be able to actually travel while you’re in a mental hospital, but reading about far-off destinations can still be a fun and engaging pastime. Travel guides like “Lonely Planet” and “National Geographic Traveler” offer detailed descriptions and photos of different countries and cities around the world, allowing patients to immerse themselves in different cultures and learn something new.
In addition to providing entertainment, these guides can also help patients dream about the future and plan potential trips once they’re feeling better. This can be a great way to stay motivated during a difficult time.
If you have an interest in cooking or baking, bringing along a few cookbooks can be a fun way to pass the time while you’re in a mental hospital. Not only can it provide a creative outlet for patients, but it can also encourage healthy eating habits.
Many cookbooks now focus on recipes that are both delicious and nutritious, so patients can experiment with new dishes that will not only taste good but also nourish their bodies. And for those who prefer something sweet, there are plenty of dessert-focused recipe books out there as well!
“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” -Mortimer J. Adler
Bringing along books or magazines that align with your interests can significantly enhance your stay at a mental hospital. Whether you want to escape into a fictional world or learn more about health and wellness, having access to reading materials can help make the experience more comfortable and stimulating.
If you are looking for a calming activity to bring with you to a mental hospital, painting can be incredibly therapeutic. Paintbrushes are an essential art supply when it comes to creating beautiful and intricate works of art. They come in different sizes and shapes to cater to different needs, from the short-bristled flat brushes that provide better coverage to the fine-pointed round brushes perfect for detailing.
Sometimes people believe that they need expensive supplies to make great artwork, but this is not always accurate. Independent artist Leah Goren shares that buying materials that genuinely work for your crafting will make a more significant difference. Whether you are experimenting with acrylic paint, watercolors or oil-based paints, using good quality brushes can help improve the overall outcome of your work.
Taking notes and sketching out ideas provides artists with a large amount of creative freedom. A sketchbook offers a private place where anyone can keep their thoughts, sketches or drawings all together. Sketch pads come in various types of paper textures such as smooth, textured, toned, and heavyweight which may suit various mediums. The benefits of drawing have been universally accepted through studies and research conducted across the globe.
Drawing has always proved useful in dealing with depression and anxiety by helping people take their mind off negative thinking. “Drawing gives us a chance to express our feelings. It doesn’t matter if we were better off at one thing than another, what counts is that we are striving to do something new,” says American art therapist Cathy Malchiodi in her book ‘The Art Therapy Source Book’.
For those who love the idea of working with vibrant colors without needing lots of art space or messy materials in a mental hospital, watercolor paints can be an excellent option. Unlike other forms of painting, watercolors are effortless when it comes to clean-up and require less equipment than other mediums, so they are perfect if you want to bring something with you for a quick source of comfort.
According to scientific research, coloring or drawing can help reduce anxiety as it helps a person focus on the present moment. This process diverts attention from worrying thoughts and provides a sense of calm at times when things feel out of control. Watercolor techniques used during the creation process offer an opportunity for mindfulness therapies while making art. Spending time enjoying your chosen task will often provide rest and respite that leads to better psychological balance.
Personal Hygiene Products
One of the most important personal hygiene products that you can bring to a mental hospital is a toothbrush. Proper dental care is essential for maintaining overall health, and brushing your teeth twice a day can help keep bacteria in check.
When selecting a toothbrush to bring with you, opt for one with soft bristles to avoid irritating your gums. You may also want to bring along some toothpaste and floss so that you can maintain proper oral hygiene throughout your stay.
“Good dental health is an essential part of overall wellness, and having access to toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other dental supplies is critical,” says Dr. Evan Woodham, DDS.
Maintaining good facial hygiene is also important during your stay at a mental hospital. Bringing along a gentle facial cleanser, as well as moisturizer, can help prevent breakouts and irritation caused by dry skin.
Avoid using harsh or abrasive scrubs, which can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate existing skin conditions. Instead, opt for a mild, non-comedogenic face wash specifically designed for sensitive skin types.
“Proper facial hygiene is crucial for preventing acne and other unsightly skin blemishes,” says Dr. Brittany Carter-Snell, MD.
In addition to providing personal care products for yourself, it’s also important to practice good hygiene habits while interacting with others in the facility. One way to do this is by regularly using hand sanitizer to kill germs and bacteria on your hands.
Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times, and apply it after touching communal surfaces like door handles or light switches. This will help reduce the spread of germs and keep you and others healthy.
“Proper hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness-causing germs,” says Dr. Jacob Scott, MD.
Clothing and Footwear
When packing for a mental hospital stay, comfortable clothing should be at the top of your list. Comfortable clothes can help improve your physical and emotional well-being, according to experts.
One item you might consider taking with you is a pair of cozy socks. The feeling of warm socks on cold feet can help you feel more relaxed and calm during times when stress levels are high. Additionally, while staying in a mental health facility, you might find that your daily routine involves walking around the grounds or inside the building itself, so comfy footwear will come in handy.
“Having shoes that fit well, don’t rub, pinch or slip, helps minimize pain and prevent falls,” says Stephanie Luedtke, an occupational therapist and associate professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
If you prefer slippers over socks, bring those instead! Just like with socks, slippers provide comfort and warmth. You should choose slippers that are sturdy and won’t easily slide off your foot to avoid slipping accidents. Wearing appropriate footwear brings an additional layer of safety, which could reduce anxiety related to falls and accidents.
- Choose non-slip soles
- Avoid open-toed styles (feet can get cold)
- Bring extra pairs if needed
Providing yourself with comforting items tends to make patients feel better emotionally and even increases their chance of recovery from both mental and physical illnesses. Even though mental hospitals may have provided slippers, they probably won’t be as comfortable as your own, so it’s worth bringing some of your favorite ones along with you!
The Importance of Comfortable Clothing
It’s understandable to feel anxious and depressed when seeking help in a mental hospital. One way you can soothe yourself is by packing comforting clothing that reminds you of home or brings warmth.
“The more comfortable someone is in their environment, the easier it will be for them to adjust,” says Dr.Nancy Liu, a clinical psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Your choice of clothing should reflect what makes you comfortable and confident – your favorite joggers or jeans paired with a t-shirt or sweater. However, some hospitals have dress-code requirements. So make sure you clarify beforehand if there are any restrictions on the clothes you bring.
All patients should feel valued, cared for, and protected against uncertainties. Feeling comfortable in familiar clothes tends to lower stress levels and instill confidence during such an uncertain time. When getting ready for your stay at a mental facility, don’t forget about how important comfortable clothing can be!
Healthy Snacks and Drinks
Mental health refers to the overall well-being of a person’s mental state. It is essential for individuals to prioritize their mental health along with the physical health to prevent any disorders or illnesses. One way to ensure good mental health is by consuming healthy snacks and drinks that are known to uplift one’s mood and reduce stress.
A cup of green tea can do wonders in relieving stress and anxiety levels. This beverage contains an amino acid called Theanine, which promotes relaxation of the mind without causing drowsiness. Moreover, Green tea helps improve focus, alertness, and cognitive function, resulting in increased productivity and a better mood.
“Drinking green tea daily may reduce the risk of depression.” – Harvard Health Publishing
In addition to having calming properties, green tea is also an excellent source of antioxidants. These combat free radicals that cause oxidative stress, leading to inflammation, cell damage, and triggering mood fluctuations. Therefore, incorporating green tea into your diet can help maintain balanced mental well-being.
Fruit and Nut Mixes
Snacking on processed foods high in sugar or fat content might feel satisfying temporarily but has detrimental effects on both emotional and physical health. Fruits and nuts make a perfect replacement as they contain essential vitamins, minerals and promote satiety without negatively impacting emotions. Additionally, many fruits such as berries and bananas are rich in antioxidants and potassium that help regulate brain activity and blood pressure levels respectively.
“Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables protect against all causes of mortality including cancer and heart disease by offering potent antitumor and anti-inflammatory benefits” -Garret Smith
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc., have been proven to boost brain function, reduce the risk of cognitive decline and lower anxiety levels. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain health and alleviate symptoms associated with mood disorders such as depression.
This crunchy yet healthy snack can quickly satisfy hunger pangs while providing essential nutrients required for optimal mental well-being. Keep a pack of these mixes packed away when heading to visit someone in a mental institution or hospital.
Frequently Asked Questions
What items are allowed to be brought into a mental hospital?
Each mental hospital has its own rules and regulations concerning the items that can be brought in. Generally, personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, shampoo, and soap are allowed as well as clothing and non-sharp personal items. Check with the hospital’s website or staff for a complete list of acceptable items before bringing anything in.
Can you bring personal electronics, such as a phone or laptop?
Most mental hospitals allow patients to bring personal electronics such as phones or laptops. However, these items may be subject to inspection and restrictions on their use may be in place. It is best to check with the hospital’s staff before bringing any electronics to ensure they are permitted and to learn about any restrictions on their use.
Are there any restrictions on the type of clothing you can bring?
While most mental hospitals allow patients to bring their own clothing, restrictions may be in place. Clothing with strings or ties may be prohibited, as these items can be used for self-harm. Clothing with inappropriate slogans or graphics may also be prohibited. It is best to check with the hospital’s staff before bringing any clothing to ensure it is permitted and to learn about any restrictions on the type of clothing you can bring.
What types of books or other entertainment can you bring?
Most mental hospitals allow patients to bring books, magazines, and other forms of entertainment such as puzzles or games. However, it is important to check with the hospital’s staff before bringing any entertainment items to ensure they are permitted and to learn about any restrictions on the types of entertainment you can bring.
Can you bring food or snacks for yourself or other patients?
Most mental hospitals allow patients to bring food or snacks for themselves, but it is important to check with the hospital’s staff before doing so. Some hospitals may have restrictions on the types of food or snacks allowed due to dietary restrictions or potential allergic reactions. It is also important to respect the privacy and preferences of other patients when bringing food or snacks to share.
What types of items should you avoid bringing to a mental hospital?
It is important to avoid bringing any item that could be used for self-harm, such as sharp objects or anything with strings. Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products should also be avoided, as these items are typically prohibited. Additionally, any item with a potential for violence, such as weapons or explosives, should not be brought to a mental hospital. It is always best to check with the hospital’s staff before bringing any items to ensure they are permitted.