Yale Health

Inpatient Treatment (Hospitalization)

When is someone hospitalized for a mental health reason?

Mental health hospitalizations are rare events at Yale and take place after careful assessment of a student’s condition. Safety concerns are the most important consideration in making decisions about psychiatric conditions. A student can be hospitalized in situations where there is the likelihood of serious harm to him/herself or others. Many hospitalizations are voluntary, meaning the student agrees that he or she needs a course of inpatient treatment because of problems that exceed what can be safely managed in an outpatient setting.  Safety concerns are almost always the deciding factors in a psychiatric hospitalization.  

How long does a mental health hospitalization last?

The length of a mental health hospitalization is determined on an individual basis and lasts from one to two days to a couple of weeks. This is decided by the attending psychiatrist in the inpatient unit in consultation with the rest of the inpatient team and the patient’s outpatient care providers. A patient is discharged when the hospital staff believes they can live safely in their campus or home environment and can receive the treatment that they need.

Sometimes a student may no longer require a hospital setting but may still need more support than they can get in a residential university environment. In this situation, a medical withdrawal may be considered to allow for a more extended period of recuperation.