Patient Information
Child & Adolescent
College Mental Health Program


When to Seek Help

How do I know if I need to go to the hospital?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then:

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.