Inpatient Psychiatric Care for Adults, Children, & Teens

Inpatient treatment is for individuals facing an acute (immediate) mental health issue who are unable to remain safe in a less restrictive environment. During an inpatient hospital stay, mental health specialists will:

  • monitor patients for safety,
  • clarify diagnoses, and
  • create a treatment plan and medication schedule (if appropriate).

Therapy Services

Our hospital programs offer many different types of therapies, such as:

  • expressive therapy,
  • individual therapy,
  • group therapy, and
  • family therapy.

Programs & Services

Adult Inpatient Services

Inpatient hospital treatment is offered for adults who are suffering an acute mental health issue. The hospital offers six distinct units, which allows for each unit to sustain an environment appropriate to varying patient needs. Safety and therapeutic protocols on one unit may be designed for patients who are detoxing, while other units intensify safety precautions for patients struggling with psychosis.

Our patient-centered care is provided by a collaborative treatment team. Maintaining safety and respect are paramount while the psychiatrist and team of social workers, nurses, expressive therapists, and psychologists assess and implement treatment to help stabilize the patient and prepare a discharge plan for the next level of care.

Patient and family education is delivered through individual, group, and family meetings. Medication evaluation and management are supported by therapy interventions drawn from the following:

  • acceptance and commitment therapy,
  • dialectical behavioral therapy, and
  • cognitive behavioral therapy.

Patients are also offered access to an interactive computer program called the Therapeutic Learning Program (TLP), which helps focus and resolve conflicts and stress.

Inpatient Medical Psychiatry

Inpatient Medical Psychiatry is the adult inpatient unit offered within University of Utah Hospital off-site from Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI). This unit affords medically compromised individuals in mental health crisis direct access to the resources University Hospital has to offer in cases where urgent medical attention is required.

Why Choose Huntsman Mental Health Institute?

Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) at University of Utah Health takes a patient-centered approach to mental health care. Our HMHI inpatient care team located at University Hospital has a deep understanding of all types of mental health issues and treats every person with compassion, dignity, and respect.

Comprehensive Mental Health Care Team

We have professionals from many areas of mental health care who provide comprehensive services for adults, children, and teens experiencing a mental health crisis. As a teaching hospital, HMHI brings together faculty, students, and researchers from specialties such as: 

  • social work,
  • nursing,
  • maternal health,
  • medical psychiatry, and
  • psychology.
Picture of sad man

Mental Health Conditions We Treat

One of the things that sets HMHI apart is our ability to provide specific care based on your mental health needs. We have several different specialty areas within our inpatient facilities so you can be around other people with similar needs as yourself, including:

Inpatient Admission Criteria

There are two types of admission to our mental health inpatient treatment program:

  • Voluntary: You can check yourself in if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and feel like you might be at risk of hurting yourself or someone else. You can also check yourself in if you have a mental health condition that needs immediate treatment, such as postpartum psychosis or depression.
  • Involuntary: We follow Utah state laws for committing someone who does not check in on their own. To qualify for involuntary commitment, the person must:
    • pose an immediate danger to themself or others or
    • refuse to undergo a court-ordered interview with a mental health professional.

How to Admit Yourself or a Loved One

In order to have yourself or a loved one evaluated for possible inpatient treatment, first call the Utah Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255). A Certified Crisis Worker will answer your call and figure out if inpatient treatment is the right choice for you or your loved one. If necessary, we will also send a member of our mobile crisis outreach team (MCOT) to meet with you or a loved one in person or over a video conference. Utah Crisis Line services are available 24/7 at no cost.

Learn How to Recognize the Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

What to Expect When You Enter Inpatient Treatment

To prepare for inpatient treatment, pack three changes of clothes and other essentials (such as a toothbrush) in case you are admitted. As you enter the hospital, you will go to the assessment center near the front desk. You will meet with a licensed clinical social worker from our team who will help you find the best level of care for your individual needs. Our staff will help you check-in if you are admitted for inpatient treatment.

After you are admitted, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Contact family members to let them know where you are and that you are safe.
  • Contact your employer or school to let them know you are receiving medical treatment. Our team will help you reach out and find ways to discreetly discuss your situation with your employer or school.
  • Fill out Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) paperwork, which allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work each year for medical reasons without losing your job.

After you or a loved one checks in to our inpatient treatment program, our team will create an individualized treatment and safety plan. We will carefully review the reason you or your loved one was admitted, then set goals to stabilize the situation and move past the immediate crisis or danger.

How Long Do You Stay In an Inpatient Mental Health Facility?

A typical stay in the HMHI inpatient mental health program is eight to 10 days. Our goal is to help someone through an acute (or short-term) mental health crisis. 

Sometimes people need longer-term care for:

At HMHI, we will recommend residential treatment facilities for drug or alcohol rehabilitation. In extremely rare cases, we will also help transfer patients to the Utah State Hospital or other long-term residential facilities if they need ongoing care for psychotic conditions after leaving our inpatient mental health treatment.

Our Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

HMHI offers a healing and peaceful environment at University Hospital. Our facilities are designed as therapeutic spaces with:

  • calming music,
  • inviting furniture,
  • large open spaces,
  • carpeted hallways and rooms,
  • individual rooms with double-size beds,
  • café-style food, and
  • outdoor green spaces for fresh air and sunshine.

Picture of patient room

Nutrition Care Services

University of Utah Health's Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers the services of clinical dietitians. They are available to patients who might:

  • Need support around disordered eating patterns,
  • Have food allergies or intolerances, or
  • Other medical conditions that require specific nutrition care.

Dietitians work closely with patients and families to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences.

Suicide Prevention Tips from HMHI Providers

Mental Health Crisis Resources

We have many services to help connect someone in crisis with the right help. Some of the services are available directly through HMHI. Others are in partnership with our partners throughout the community: 

Contact our CrisisLine