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Access to Care

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As a comprehensive psychiatric hospital, McLean Hospital is dedicated to making our programs and services easily accessible, while creating a welcoming, safe and respectful environment for all.

If you are in medical crisis and need critical care attention, please call 9-1-1 immediately or visit your nearest emergency room.

How do I know if I need to go to a psychiatric hospital?

  • Are you suicidal?
  • Are you feeling depressed, overwhelmed or scared to the point that you are thinking of hurting yourself or someone else?
  • Is your use of alcohol, drugs or medications out of control?
  • Is your anxiety preventing you from functioning at home, work or school?
  • Is your stress level so high that you are unable to take care of your basic needs like sleep, personal hygiene and eating?
  • Are you having hallucinations or feel that people are plotting against you or trying to hurt you?
  • Are you having thoughts that are expansive and grandiose or not your own?
  • Are people telling you that they are scared and worried about your emotional state or your behaviors?

Did you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions?

Please call your psychiatrist or therapist who can determine if you need inpatient psychiatric care.

If you do not have a psychiatrist or therapist or if you cannot wait for them to respond, please go to a local hospital emergency room (ER) where you can be evaluated to determine if you need inpatient psychiatric care.

If you are suicidal, or a danger to yourself or others, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not wait!
Don't be embarrassed to call 9-1-1; the operators deal with psychiatric emergencies every day.

May I just come to McLean?

If you are seeking inpatient psychiatric services, you need a referral from a psychiatrist, therapist or crisis team before coming to McLean. If you are currently in crisis and cannot wait for your therapist or psychiatrist to facilitate an admission, please go to the closest general hospital emergency room.

If you would like to come to McLean for alcohol or drug detoxification, you may refer yourself and do not need a referral from a psychiatrist, therapist or crisis team; however, you do need to call to check on bed availability. 

If you have questions or are seeking admission, please call McLean Inpatient Admissions at 800.333.0338.

What happens after I have a referral?

When you arrive at our Belmont or SouthEast (Middleborough) campus, the first step is a diagnostic psychiatric evaluation to further assess your need for hospital inpatient care. If hospitalization is needed, we will identify which of our inpatient programs is best suited to meet your needs.

Staff will explain the admission process to you. They will also give you a booklet: Guide to Arriving at McLean: Helpful Information for Patients, Their Families and Friends when you arrive at the hospital.

We encourage you to ask questions and share concerns that you have about your health and treatment throughout the admissions process.

For other levels of care, please use the following phone numbers to contact the appropriate departments

Information and Referral for Adult Outpatient Services
Phone: 617.855.2300

Information and Referral for Child Outpatient Services
Phone: 617.674.5300

Residential Referral Coordinator
Phone: 617.855.3934.

For a comprehensive overview of all McLean programs and services, click here  to visit our clinical services page.

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