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When you’ve struggled with a severe mental health condition, stepping into a residential treatment center can feel like a leap into uncharted territory, where every corner hides a mix of trepidation and anticipation. There’s an overwhelming sense of vulnerability as you navigate intake assessments, unfamiliar routines, and interactions with staff and fellow residents. But amidst the uncertainties, there’s a whisper of hope. A glimmer of possibility. A belief that within these walls, there’s a path toward healing, solace and a renewed sense of self. And as you prepare for your first day at Rose Hill Center, that’s what we urge you to lean into.

To help you learn more about what to expect at a residential treatment center, we’ve created an outline of a patient’s first day and first week.

Day 1 

  • Admission paperwork: Whether you’re coming from home, a hospital or another treatment program, we’ll greet you in the morning and start the day with some paperwork – getting your consent for treatment, reviewing our resident policies and procedures, etc. We’ll also take one photo for clinical purposes and get your weight. (Note: If you’re traveling to Rose Hill from out of state, we’ve negotiated discounted rates at local accommodations so you can stay the night before.) 
  • Tour and introductions: If you haven’t been to Rose Hill, we’ll show you around our 400-acre campus and introduce you to your nurse, case manager, clinical director and any other staff members who you’ll be working with. You’ll have at least a brief introduction to the majority of your treatment team on day one. 
  • Unpacking: Ahead of your arrival, you’ll receive a formal packing list, but we also encourage you to bring things that will make your room feel like your room. A member of your admission team will take inventory of your belongings to ensure they are permitted and documented. 
  • Lunch: On your first day, you’ll have lunch in our Kelly Community Center (KCC) dining room with your case manager and you’ll get to meet all the residents in our community. 
  • Assessment: In the afternoon, your case manager will begin a psychological assessment and start an initial treatment plan. This can take anywhere from one to three hours.
  • Group: If you’re not too tired, you’re welcome to attend our daily group session. However, if you’d rather have a low-key evening and start to process your new normal, that’s okay, too.
  • Dinner and evening activities: Come back to the KCC to enjoy a dinner prepared by our kitchen work team. Then, feel free to enjoy our open gym and the computer lab located at the Gundle Center, relaxation/TV areas in KCC and Polk House, or unwind in your room. Just know that on your first night, you’ll be under an enhanced safety watch. Someone will be checking on you at an increased frequency – once every half hour – to help support your transition. 

 Week 1

  • Work team: On your second day at Rose Hill, you’ll meet your work team and team leaders, and you’ll start working with them for about five hours each day. (During the admissions process, you’ll have chosen where you want to work: in the farm, in the garden, in the kitchen or with housekeeping.)
  • Comprehensive care team: In the first week, you’ll start to experience the full program, beginning with a more intensive assessment. You’ll be meeting with a psychiatrist, dietician and nurse, and should you benefit from it, you’ll meet with our social communication specialist. You should also expect to meet our musical therapist – an expert who can teach you how to play any instrument you’re interested in. And finally, because we’re staffed 24 hours a day, you’ll start to see some new faces, specifically staff members on the second and third shift.
  • Care coordination: While we focus solely on your mental health, we can also coordinate primary, dental, vision and chiropractic care to treat you as a whole person. To help inform this plan, we’ll need to gather historical information about your treatment, so your case manager will be in touch with you and your loved ones this week.
  • Exploration: During your first week at Rose Hill, we wholeheartedly encourage you to get out and explore our grounds. Take a peaceful walk along one of our trails, spend some quiet time in our butterfly or greenhouse garden, visit the fitness center or basketball courts, or bond with our family of farm animals. 

As we work together to lay the groundwork for a therapeutic journey, it’s normal to feel a bit vulnerable. However, as you go on, we’ll work tirelessly to gain your trust, build a supportive environment with a sense of community, and help you overcome the challenges of your illness.

To learn more about what to expect at a residential treatment center, read Mental Health Care in a Residential Treatment Center: 6 Reasons Why It’s Worth It.