When to Seek Help
How do I know if I need to go to the hospital?
- Are you suicidal?
- Are you feeling depressed, overwhelmed or scared to the point that you are thinking of hurting yourself or someone else?
- Is your use of alcohol, drugs or medications out of control?
- Is your anxiety preventing you from functioning at home, work or school?
- Is your stress level so high that you are unable to take care of your basic needs like sleep, personal hygiene and eating?
- Are you having hallucinations or feel that people are plotting against you or trying to hurt you?
- Are you having thoughts that are expansive and grandiose or not your own?
- Are people telling you that they are scared and worried about your emotional state or your behaviors?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then:
- Please call your psychiatrist or therapist who can determine if you need inpatient psychiatric care.
- If you do not have a psychiatrist or therapist or if you cannot wait for them to respond, please go to a local hospital emergency room (ER) where you can be evaluated to determine if you need inpatient psychiatric care.
- If you are suicidal or homicidal, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not wait!! Do not be embarrassed to call 9-1-1; the operators deal with psychiatric emergencies every day.
May I just come to McLean?
If you are seeking inpatient psychiatric services, you need a referral from a psychiatrist, therapist or crisis team before coming to McLean. If you are currently in crisis and cannot wait for your therapist or psychiatrist to facilitate an admission, please go to the closest general hospital emergency room.
If you have significant medical problems, a history of medical complications with drug or alcohol withdrawal, or if you have symptoms that might indicate that you have a serious medical problem, you may be asked to have a medical clearance before coming to McLean. This means that you need a medical evaluation by a physician to rule out non-psychiatric causes for how you are feeling and how you are functioning. Sometimes this evaluation is done in a general hospital emergency room; other times it is done by your primary care physician or other medical doctor.
If you have questions about this process, please call McLean Intake at 800-333-0338.
If you would like to come to McLean for alcohol or drug detoxification, you do not need a referral from a psychiatrist, therapist or crisis team. You may call McLean Intake at 800-333-0338 as the first step in the admission process for alcohol and drug detoxification.
What happens after I have a referral?
When you arrive at our Belmont or SouthEast (Brockton) campus, the first step is a diagnostic psychiatric evaluation to further assess your need for hospital inpatient care. If hospitalization is needed, we will identify which of our inpatient programs is best suited to meet your needs.
Staff will explain the admission process to you. They will also give you a booklet: Guide to Arriving at McLean: Helpful Information for Patients, Their Families and Friends when you arrive at the hospital. It is also available on the McLean website.
We encourage you to ask questions and share concerns that you have about your health and treatment throughout the admissions process.