Incoming Patients

For Incoming Patients

What is involved in the Inpatient Admissions Process?

At the Brattleboro Retreat, we recognize that being admitted to any of our programs, and particularly to the hospital, can be a trying time. We treat all people with dignity and respect, striving to make the experience a positive and helpful one. Please contact Central Intake to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the Brattleboro Retreat. This helps assure that the admissions process goes smoothly.

Common steps in the admissions process

Arrive at the Retreat’ Main Entrance Registration desk–Family members or significant others are welcome, however we asked that there be no more than two people accompanying patients into the admissions unit. A waiting area is available.

A nurse or intake coordinator will meet with you to begin getting your medical information and provide you with important information about your stay.

Discuss insurance policy limits, co-pays and deductibles with the admission’s coordinator or a patient finance representative.

Meet with a Licensed Independent Practitioner (usually a physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or social worker) to discuss your history of mental health/substance abuse treatment and current needs.

Obtain a physical prior to being admitted.

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What are the hours?

Central Intake is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We ask that all patients call our admissions department before arriving so that we can assure someone will be available to assist you.

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What shall I bring?

  • Clothing. Patients should wear comfortable, casual cloths while at the Brattleboro Retreat. Bring one bag of clothes, with machine-washable day and night wear, including underwear, socks, shoes, bathrobe and slippers. Mark all pieces of clothing, as well as such items as eyeglasses, contacts, and canes. Each patient's belongings are placed in a locked space. Please be aware that for safety reasons, belongings are subject to search.
  • Personal Care Items.Patients may bring the following items, if appropriate: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and deodorant. Please do not bring any glass containers or anything with alcohol in it such as mouthwash or cologne.
  • Personal Belongings. The Brattleboro Retreat is not responsible for personal items, including eyeglasses and dentures. Patients are advised to leave valuables, including jewelry, at home and not to carry more than $10 in cash. Cameras are not allowed on the units.
  • Medications. Please bring prescribed medications with you, although they may be sent home with a family member if appropriate.

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Are there things I should not bring?

In addition to glass containers and items containing alcohol, computers, cell phones and other handheld devices are not permitted. Jewelry is also prohibited.

Specific programs may have additional prohibitions based on the nature of their programming. Please ask the Admission Coordinator for more information.

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Are telephones available for patient use?

Telephones are available on every program for local calls and collect calls. For all long distance calls a calling card will need to be used. Calling cards are available in our gift shop which is open from 9am-5pm.

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What is the policy on drugs and alcohol?

To ensure the safety of our patients and staff, use of drugs and alcohol on the Brattleboro Retreat property is not allowed.

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What is the smoking policy?

The Brattleboro Retreat is a tobacco free campus. Patients, visitors (including volunteers, vendors, contract workers etc.) and staff are prohibited from using tobacco products anywhere inside or on the grounds of the Brattleboro Retreat.

If you are a patient being admitted to a Retreat program you will be asked about your tobacco use, if any. This information will be shared with your treatment team. If necessary, we will work with you to help you feel comfortable without tobacco.

People visiting the Retreat for a short time - outpatients, family members, guests, etc. - are asked to refrain from all tobacco use as well.

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What are the patient units like?

Most of the rooms at the Brattleboro Retreat  are private rooms. Each of the units of our inpatient areas are locked. Patients are allowed off the units with staff at times throughout the day. We do have an exercise room and a gym that can be used by patients with staff and a cafeteria for meals.


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What will my days be like?

Treatment will consist of groups conducted by our clinical staff. Each patient will have a treatment team and meetings with the various team members will be done during the day. Many different groups are offered and your treatment team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is individualized based on your specific needs. AA and NA meetings occur in the evenings and are available to patients with substance abuse issues.

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Is there a cafeteria?

A full service cafeteria, offering a variety of hot and cold menu items for purchase, is located on the campus. In addition there is a snack and gift store, and vending machines offering snacks, candy, coffee, juice and soft drinks.

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Do you have interpreter services?

Interpreter services are available for Deaf and hard of hearing patients, and non-English speaking patients and their families. Telecommunications Devices for Deaf and hard of hearing patients are also available. Staff members will assist you in obtaining these services.

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Can I send and receive mail?

As a patient at the Brattleboro Retreat, you can send and receive mail. Any letters and packages sent by U.S. mail are delivered to and picked up from patient units on a daily basis. All packages must be opened in front of staff.

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