Sometimes it helps to understand the rules and tips that are given to patients in psychiatric locked units as an occupational therapy practitioner working in mental health. While each unit may have its own rules and some may even contradict each other, the following are some general rules and tips that patients going through a crisis should follow.
- Drugs and alcohol
- Privileges and passes
- Interactions with other patients
- Tolerance and respect of others
- Personal possessions
- Other daily expectations
- After discharge
Examples of Rules
- Follow all rules and procedures set by the facility.
- Keep all personal belongings secure and out of sight.
- Do not engage in physical altercations with other patients or staff members.
- Report any suspicious or unsafe behavior to staff immediately.
- Do not attempt to leave the unit without permission from staff.
- Follow medication and treatment plans as directed by medical professionals.
- Respect the privacy and personal space of other patients.
- Do not bring in any prohibited items such as weapons or drugs.
- Cooperate with staff during searches and room inspections.
- Seek help from staff if you feel unsafe or need assistance in any way.
- Avoid confrontations and arguments with other patients or staff members.
- Follow the dress code and grooming guidelines set by the facility.
- Be aware of and follow fire safety protocols and evacuation procedures.
- Do not tamper with or damage any of the facility’s equipment or property.
- Seek permission before giving or receiving any items or money from other patients or visitors.
- Do not engage in any illegal activities while on the unit.
- Take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others.
- Be aware of and follow the facility’s visitor policy.
- Seek support from staff if you have any concerns or issues.
- Remember that the staff are there to help you, and that the goal of the locked psychiatric unit is to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone.
- Be patient and understanding of the limitations of the unit.
- Be respectful of the staff and other patients, as everyone is going through a difficult time.
- Follow any mealtime and food guidelines set by the facility.
- Seek help if you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed.
- Remember that you are not alone and that there are people who care about you and want to help you get better.
- Be open to the different forms of therapy and treatment available.
- Try to stay active and busy during your stay, whether it be through reading, writing, or participating in group activities.
- Remember that your stay in the unit is temporary and that you will eventually be able to return to your normal life.
- Seek help if you have any problems or concerns about your medication or treatment.
- Remember that recovery is a process and that it takes time, but with the help of the staff, you can get through this difficult time.
In addition to these rules, the occupational therapist should be tuned into the signs and symptoms of acuity and escalation as well as how to communicate and intervene safely for the patient, themselves, staff, and any visitors who are present.