Patients & Visitors

The Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute’s patients and visitors often have many questions. In this section, we try to answer the most common questions.

Patients & Visitors

Patient and Visitor Expectations

Respect for others and lawful behavior is expected and failure to do so could result in criminal charges. We have a “zero tolerance” for violence within the hospital programs as well as the outpatient settings.

What to Expect

Being admitted to a psychiatric hospital can be stressful and scary if you don’t know what to expect. At the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, we try to make your stay with us as stress free as possible.

When you arrive at the hospital, you will be checked in. During the initial admission process, your belongings will be secured until you arrive on the inpatient unit. Someone will go through your clothing and bags. Having your belongings searched may feel uncomfortable, but it is for safety reasons.

When you are admitted to one of our inpatient units, you will be assigned a private room or you may share a room with a roommate. Our hospital rooms do not have televisions or telephones.  A day room/activity room will be available to patients 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, where there is a television. There is also telephone available for patient use in a central area.

During your stay at PPI, individual, group and family therapy will be made available. Other group activities you may participate in during your stay include music therapy, medication education, pet therapy, exercise therapy and various recreational therapies. Your first group meeting of each day will be a community meeting where everyone will set a goal for the day.

At PPI we aim to improve your mental and physical well-being by:

  • Helping to develop more effective skills for coping with mental illness
  • Promoting development of social skills
  • Teaching effective problem solving skills
  • Assisting family members in gaining an understanding of mental illness and their role in your treatment

In addition to patient rooms, there will be a central nursing station on the unit where you will go for medication or other nursing needs. There will also be a patient lounge area where you can socialize with other patients or watch TV, and a dining area. Meals are generally not served in patient rooms. There will be rooms where group therapy sessions are held.

You will be made aware of the rules and policies of the unit. Smoking is not permitted on the units. If you are a smoker, you can ask for a nicotine path to help you cope.