What to Expect

By its very nature, inpatient psychiatric care is unique within the hospital setting. The days are busy.  People dress in street clothes, eat together, do their own laundry, and interact with peers – because it is out of the renewal of normal life that people begin to get better.

Individualized care

Based on the results of your evaluation, we develop a comprehensive treatment plan for you. Treatment focuses on your specific behavioral health needs. You will learn new ways to cope with your illness and the stress of being ill. We will also determine an appropriate level of medication and teach you how to use it to its greatest effectiveness. Twenty-four-hour care during your hospital stay helps ensure your safety and well being.

Your care plan may include individual meetings with psychiatrists, group therapy, and educational programs. We provide:

  • behavioral health diagnostic assessment and evaluation
  • 24-hour behavioral health monitoring and supervision
  • medication stabilization and management
  • individual and group therapy
  • recreation therapy
  • family therapy
  • patient and family education
  • discharge and after-care planning

All of these therapies are designed to help you return home and resume your life as quickly as possible. Our discharge planners and social workers will work with you to plan and coordinate care following hospitalization.

Family plays an important role

When one person in the family suffers from a mental or emotional illness, everyone else in the family is affected. Admission to a psychiatric treatment program is understandably traumatic. Stresses and strains in relationships tend to be intensified. We understand this and encourage family members to express their feelings and learn new ways to cope with their frustrations. We help families participate in the recovery process of their loved ones.

Going home

Before you leave the medical center, issues related to continuing treatment, physical safety, and emotional support are addressed through discharge planning. Links with community agencies are established to help ensure continued outpatient treatment and well being.

Together you, your family, and your treatment team will develop an appropriate after-care plan. Our Behavioral Services Units have solid relationships with a variety of local agencies, including the Tompkins County Mental Health Clinic, Family and Children’s Services, Cayuga Addiction and Recovery Services, Tompkins County Drug and Alcohol Council, Suicide and Crisis Prevention Service, and private mental-health practitioners. We also interact regularly with student health services at Cornell University and Ithaca College.


Clients and their families have a right to privacy. All information about people being treated in our Behavioral Services Units is kept confidential unless we have written consents to release information. We hold information confidential to respect people’s privacy, and we are also required to do so by New York State law.

About Cayuga Medical Center

We are a not-for-profit, acute-care medical center bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services to the residents of Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga counties. And a century after our founding, we remain intrinsically tied to those we serve: our corporate membership includes representatives from over 100 community organizations. At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe that hospitals are shaped by the people they serve


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