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How to Talk to Your Child about Acadia Hospital

Being in the hospital can be scary for anyone, and being in an unknown environment and depending on the care of strangers is extremely stressful when someone is already in a fragile state. What makes the experience even more difficult is the fact that family and friends cannot be with patients all the time because the child and adolescent inpatient unit is in treatment all day long.
Since each situation and each person is unique, it can be hard to find the right way to talk to your child about Acadia Hospital. Here are some points you might want to consider when talking to your child about the inpatient unit at Acadia Hospital:
  • People go to Acadia to get help with how they are feeling or if they are doing unsafe things. It is a place to figure out what isn’t going well and to help get things better.
  • There will be other people of similar ages in the hospital who are dealing with similar problems. It can be helpful to know that you aren’t the only one, and to have other people your age support you.
  • The staff at Acadia Hospital is there to help you. There will always be someone around to make sure you are safe and to help you get through the hard times. 
  • No one can force you to do anything against your will unless you are being unsafe. You and your family will be asked to approve all treatment recommendations.
  • No one stays in the hospital forever, and you don’t have to be completely better to be ready to leave. The goal of hospitalization is to get things on a better track, and arrange for you to continue your treatment as an outpatient.
  • You don’t have to worry about school. The staff will make sure that your school doesn’t penalize you for being in the hospital, and with the tutors at the hospital you can keep up with your schoolwork.
  • If your family lives far away or has trouble getting to meetings at the hospital, they can meet over the phone. We will do whatever we can to help your family attend meetings, even if they can’t come often. Note that this will not delay your discharge from the hospital.
  • If at any time the guardian does not think the youth should stay in the hospital any longer, that youth will be allowed to leave immediately as long as there is no concern that the youth is still a danger to his or her self or others.  
  • Most patients settle in quickly, and within a day or two they are much more comfortable about getting help in the inpatient setting.