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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Any responsible person can make a referral to Lighthouse Behavioral Health Hospital. Sometimes, people are under the impression that a professional, such as a primary care physician must be involved. The fact of the matter is that individuals can make a self-referral or a family member can make the referral too. All that needs to be done is to call 843-347-8871 and ask to speak with one of our assessment and referral counselors. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. It is that simple.

We have established networks and relationships with most commercial insurance companies. By calling Lighthouse and speaking with one of our assessment and referral counselors, we will record your information and contact the insurance company on your behalf. After verifying your benefits, our staff will contact you and let you know what financial responsibility you will have and what the insurance company will pay on your behalf. Medicare and TRICARE® also pay for services at Lighthouse.

It is difficult to say because every case is different, but a ballpark figure is between seven and 10 days.

In addition to having psychiatrists on staff, Lighthouse maintains a staff of internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, all of whom are capable of treating common and even more complex medical conditions.

We generally recommend three days worth of clothing. Items to bring should include three shirts or tops, three pairs of pants, two pairs of shoes (without laces), four pairs of socks, four pairs of underwear, one sweatshirt or sweater, one pair of pajamas and one pair of slippers. During the winter months, a jacket may be recommended as well. Please ensure that your clothing fits appropriately. Women should not bring clothing that is low cut, that exposes the midsection, is tight so as to accent certain body parts or is seductive in any way. Neither sex should bring clothing that has sexually explicit messages, promotes violence of any type or that suggests or glorifies drug or alcohol use. In general, you are able to wear your own standard street clothing while at Lighthouse. We also have washers and dryers on the premises so that you can do your laundry as necessary.

Patients cannot have anything on the units that is electronic in nature, such as cell phones, iPods, MP3s, radios, televisions, etc. On each unit, there are one or two televisions where you can catch a ball game or your favorite daytime talk show. There are also radios on the units so you can listen to music. Sharp items such as pocket knives, razors, mirrors and anything made of glass are not permitted, nor is anything with a cord such as a handheld hair dryer. Do not bring anything with alcohol in it such as mouthwashes, spray on type deodorants or perfumes. Toiletries and towels for drying off after bathing are provided by Lighthouse. Large amounts of money and expensive jewelry should not be brought to Lighthouse. You may bring up to $10 with you in order to make a purchase at the vending machine in the cafeteria, but anything more than that will be locked up in the safe until the day you are being discharged.

Lighthouse is a non-smoking facility as of January 1, 2009. Cigarettes and lighters should be left at home. If you need one, a nicotine patch will be ordered by your doctor.

Each individual case is different. If you take a medication that is rarely prescribed or is unique, it is probably advisable that you bring it. In general, ask your assessment and referral counselor at the time you call in and he/she will inform you on how to proceed on this matter.

These are some of the interventions that are typical of a stay at Lighthouse:

  • A nursing assessment at the time of admission by a registered nurse
  • A physical by an internal medicine physician
  • An initial psychiatric evaluation within 24 hours of admission
  • Daily sessions with your psychiatrist for medication evaluation and adjustments
  • Daily therapy groups with a master’s level therapist
  • Daily drug and alcohol groups with a master’s level therapist (for those in the Dual Diagnosis program)
  • Daily recreation therapy groups with a certified recreation therapist
  • A dietary consult by a registered dietician if necessary
  • Groups by a registered nurse to discuss your medications and answer questions
  • Morning and evening groups on daily goal setting and attainment
  • Times for journaling, meditation and reflection

Unfortunately, no. Being an inpatient therapist is a full-time job. That does bring up the issue of the need for additional treatment after discharge. Some people believe that after they are discharged from a facility such as Lighthouse Behavioral Health Hospital that they do not require further treatment. This is seldom the case. At Lighthouse, our goal in most cases is to get the client stabilized after a crisis so that they can return home again and continue on with a more normal life. Stabilization though does not mean “recovered.” Stabilization is just the beginning of recovery. Underneath, there are still issues that need to be addressed and worked through. The length of outpatient therapy varies and is based on multiple factors, including support of family and friends, individual motivation and desire to overcome one’s problems and a number of issues to be addressed in therapy.

Lighthouse Behavioral Health Hospital has a full-time registered dietician on staff who will conduct a dietary consult when either a doctor or nurse orders one. The nursing assessment that is conducted upon entry to the unit identifies whether this consult is necessary. Our dietary and kitchen staff are capable of developing a meal regimen that will meet your nutritional needs, including chopping up or pureeing food if chewing or swallowing are problem areas.

Outside food is not permitted to be brought into Lighthouse Behavioral Health Hospital. While at Lighthouse, you will receive three well-balanced meals a day in addition to two to three snacks. We also have vending machines in the cafeteria where you can get a beverage or additional snack items.

You can have visitors; however, they must be at least 18 years of age. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to visit due to liability issues. Please note that visitation typically is not every day of the week as you might be permitted in a regular medical hospital. You will receive a patient handbook upon admission to Lighthouse that will outline the days and times of visitation.

Yes, mail from well-wishers is greatly encouraged. Please note that general mail, such as credit card statements, bills from your utility companies, or mortgage statements, should not be forwarded or brought in by your family members at visitation. Your goal while in treatment should be to focus on getting back to an improved state of mental health. Let other matters go until you are stabilized and able to safely return home.

HIPAA laws require that we guard your confidentiality. We only release information to those people that you authorize in writing for us to release information to. You will be given a numeric identification code upon admission to Lighthouse. You then can give that code to those individuals that you want to contact you while in our facility. If someone tries to contact you and they do not know your code, our staff will neither confirm nor deny that you have been admitted. It will be as if we never had any knowledge of you to begin with.

One of the things that is most beneficial to your treatment and recovery is the support of family and those that care about you. Any show of support, whether it be through visitation, mail or phone contact, is generally a positive benefit in your recovery. Phone contact can be made daily; however, there are designated times when you can make or receive calls. Your patient handbook will inform you of when these times are.

Worship services are not provided during your stay at Lighthouse Behavioral Health Hospital. This does not suggest that leadership at Lighthouse frowns upon or does not believe in the benefit of faith. On the contrary, many on the staff at Lighthouse are very spiritual and of faith, which likely plays a role in why we do the work we do. You are encouraged to bring a Bible to read while at Lighthouse, and your clergy has more ability to visit you than your own family. If you do not have a Bible, one will be provided at your request. You may ask your therapist about having special visits from your pastor/preacher most days of the week.

Each unit has a psychiatrist assigned for that particular population. For instance, Lighthouse has one psychiatrist assigned to the senior adult unit, a second psychiatrist assigned to the unit for addictions and a third psychiatrist assigned to the adult psychiatric inpatient unit. You will be notified as to who your doctor and your therapist will be at the time of your admission. In most cases, the doctor assigned to a particular unit has specific training in that area of psychiatry and has deep interest and passion for working with that population.

The staff is there to listen to what you have to say about anything that you feel is a hindrance to improved mental health. You should make an attempt to resolve any issues with our unit staff, whether it be a mental health tech (MHT), a nurse, your therapist or even your doctor. If you feel that you have made multiple attempts to resolve an issue and it still persists, there is a patient advocate within the facility that you can then request to talk to. See your patient handbook under the section “Grievance Procedure” for how to request this meeting.