Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is Wyoming Behavioral Institute a locked hospital?
    We provide a safe, secure environment for all of our patients. Many of our patients suffer from illnesses that make it difficult for them to maintain their own safety outside of a structured environment. Also, to maintain confidentiality we need to be able to identify any possible visitors to our units before they enter patient areas.
  2. Can my child bring his or her own toys?
    We provide toys, books and games for your child to play with during their stay. If you feel it would be important for your child to have a few favorite toys from home, please discuss this with your child's unit staff.
  3. Can my family member bring CDs, a CD player or an MP3 player?
    All electronic devices and CDs and DVDs should be left at home. Music, movies, books and games are available to patients.
  4. Who do I contact if I have questions?
    Financial questions: Call (307) 237-7444 or (800) 457-9312 to speak to an account representative in the Business Office, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
    Medical questions: Call (307) 237-7444 or (800) 457-9312. If you know the name of the physician or therapist you wish to speak with, please ask for that person or leave a message. If you are seeking outpatient care, please ask to speak with the Outpatient Clinic staff.
    School questions: Call (307) 237-7444 or (800) 457-9312 and ask to speak with the Education Department.
    Your Family Member's Treatment: Please call the Therapist assigned to your family member or ask Unit staff to assist you. Your family member will be hospitalized on child, adolescent, adult or Pathways residential unit.
  5. What happens if our therapist is on vacation or unavailable?
    Please ask the Unit Staff for assistance. Call (307) 237-7444 or (800) 457-9312 and ask for the Unit where your family member is hospitalized (child, adolescent, adult or Pathways).
  6. What is a Treatment Team?
    The term "Treatment Team" refers to all the people who work with you or your family member to help with recovery. Each member of your treatment team has special skills and a role in your recovery, including you. They are called a team because they're all working with you to help you or your family member reach certain goals. You are an important member of the treatment team.
  7. Are families expected to be involved?
    Yes. Active participation by family members is absolutely necessary in mental health treatment. Family members are essential members of the Treatment Team; as with any illness, family support promotes healing. Treatment decisions are often based on information provided by family members. Discharge and aftercare plans are clearly spelled out and reviewed with the patient and family prior to leaving WBI. If you notice any changes in behavior or safety level of your loved one, please let someone on the Treatment Team know about your concerns immediately.
  8. Will you medicate my family member?
    Medications are a powerful and effective tool in treating mental illnesses and addictions. However, they are only prescribed after the benefits and any possible side effects of each medication have been thoroughly reviewed with the patient and family and after consents have been granted. Medications are closely monitored and their effectiveness is frequently reviewed.
  9. What should I bring?
    At least three changes of clothes, pajamas, and personal hygiene items. Washers and dryers are available on each unit for patient use.
  10. What is a typical day like?
    Each day's activities follow a structured schedule that includes group and individual therapy, therapeutic recreation activities, school, community meetings, treatment plan meetings, family therapy sessions and private time for reflection and working on written assignments.
  11. What should be left at home?
    Do not bring valuable items to WBI. WBI cannot be responsible for lost items. Music players, laptops, and cash should be left at home. Safety is always our first concern. Items considered hazardous to our patients, staff or visitors are called "contraband." Our current list of items not allowed on our patient care units includes, but is not limited to:
    • Plastic bags
    • Drawstrings or strings in pants, shirts, or jackets and shoelaces
    • Belts, ties and scarves
    • Jewelry
    • Clothing with drug, alcohol, sexual themes or potential addicting themes (gambling, tobacco, casinos)
    • Homemade food, open or unsealed packages of food (gum, chips, candy, fast food brought in by anyone except a food service delivery person), or anything not in a factory-sealed package or bottle
    • Electrical appliances with cords
    • CDs, DVDs, and other hard plastic objects
    • Books and magazines not approved by the therapist
    • Nail polish and nail polish remover
    • Cigarettes, lighters, matches, tobacco products
    • Underwire bras (May be allowed on adult unit at nursing discretion)
    • Drugs or unidentified substances or powder
    • Knives, guns, or metal objects designed as weapons, metal hangers, letter openers
    • Sewing needles, hooks, safety pins, straight pins, scissors, metal nail clippers or files of any kind
    • Glass or metal of any kind, including make-up in glass bottles, with mirrors or metal in the handles of the make-up brushes
    • Perfumes, cologne, or aftershave
    • Steel-toed boots and high-heeled shoes
    • Hairsprays and any liquids containing alcohol and aerosols of any kind
    • Any other item considered potentially harmful, non-therapeutic, or altered from original use
  12. Will my child attend school?
    WBI has a school on site for elementary, junior high, and high school students. Certified, experienced teachers and aides staff our school. We provide an educational component because we recognize that school is an important part of your child's life. Remember that the primary focus at WBI is treating the emotional and or behavioral issues that resulted in hospitalization. Once these issues begin to stabilize, children can begin to make progress in school. With your permission, our Education Coordinator will work with your child's school to coordinate their education needs. Pathways Unit students attend WBI's accredited language arts, math and health classes and can receive credit applicable to graduation requirements after discharge.
  13. How long does treatment last?
    People respond to treatment differently. Depending on their commitment to improving their lives, their willingness to confront their problems and change their behavior, and the severity of their symptoms, the actual length of treatment varies. Hospitalized adults usually stay between five and 10 days in the acute program. Children and adolescents sometimes stay about two weeks in the acute program, and one to three months in the Pathways residential program. Discharge planning actually begins at the time of admission. Therapists will work to develop aftercare plans, based on the individual needs.
  14. Who do I contact if I have questions about my discharge or my child's discharge?
    Therapists help patients and families coordinate discharges; an individual or family session around the time of discharge is scheduled at which time questions and concerns will be addressed.
  15. What can I expect from treatment?
    In treatment, patients learn and begin to develop skills. Patients will need to continue working on these skills after discharge and most likely for life. The success of treatment is in large part related to the effort and willingness that the patient puts forth to make changes. Patients are asked to accept personal responsibility as they work through their issues.
  16. What is a denial of rights? And what circumstances might lead to a denial of my rights?
    Wyoming Behavioral Institute supports and advocates for patients to be involved in the process of planning their care and in all decisions about their care. If your doctor, treatment team and if you are a minor, your parents or guardian, determine that it would be in your best interest to restrict your rights, it is our obligation to communicate with you about those restrictions and the reasons.