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For Families

For Families

In addition to the impact a mental health disorder or chemical dependency can have on an individual, it can also be very stressful for their family and loved ones. We want family members to rest easy knowing their loved one is receiving quality care at Wyoming Behavioral Institute. Read below for details on living arrangements, visitation and the involuntary detention process.

Patient Care Areas

  • We offer semi-private rooms. Most treatment occurs in central gathering areas (dayrooms), which encourage social and therapeutic interaction. We have quiet visiting rooms, therapist and physician offices, medication dispensing areas, exam rooms, nurse stations and recreation areas both inside and outside.
  • There are televisions in the dayrooms.
  • Patient rooms should be kept tidy with beds made daily, personal items kept in the areas provided and floors clear of tripping hazards.
  • There are telephones in dayrooms and patient halls. Patient confidentiality prevents us from confirming or denying whether a patient is hospitalized.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room. The menu changes daily. Snacks are available as approved by the nutrition staff. We do not allow outside food and drink

Visitation

We encourage visitors to enhance positive relationships and communication skills among family members during a family member’s treatment. Visiting hours vary by unit. Please ask the unit nurses for more information. Families visiting from out of town may qualify for special motel rates.

Patient Bill of Rights

A patient has the right to:

  • Reasonable access to care consistent with the capacity, capability and resources of the facility regardless of the source of your payment.
  • Courteous, considerate and respectful care in a secure environment that respects your personal values and beliefs, regardless of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability and interpretive services (if needed).
  • To an environment free of physical, sexual and mental abuse
  • Consideration of your mental, emotional, social, spiritual and cultural needs and the opportunity for religious worship.
  • Take part in decisions about your healthcare. You or your designated decision-maker will be included in the planning of care. You will be able to express your treatment preferences and be well informed so you can assist in your own treatment.
  • Have pain assessed and managed. Your pain should be at a minimum.
  • Take part in work and recreation.
  • Be able to sleep at night.
  • Accept or refuse healthcare treatment, to the extent permitted by law, and be informed of the consequences of refusal.
  • Ask for information to help you make healthcare treatment decisions consistent with your wishes.
  • Be informed of possible risks of treatment and medications.
  • Express a complaint about quality of care, staff, premature discharge or coverage decisions and receive prompt attention to your concerns. These complaints may be made to the CEO or grievance coordinator.
  • Refuse to participate in research projects.
  • Have as much privacy as possible. Rooms will be assigned by census, patient needs and compatibility.
  • Have all medical and personal information treated as confidential unless you consent to its release or its disclosure is required or permitted by law.
  • Be free of seclusion or restraints unless clinically indicated.
  • Communicate with persons outside of Wyoming Behavioral Institute.
  • Receive or refuse visitors.
  • Receive unopened mail. You will be required to open the mail in the presence of staff.
  • Write and send letters. You may request assistance if needed.
  • Wear your own clothes.
  • Keep personal belongings in accordance with program policy.
  • Keep and spend your own money in accordance with program policy.
  • Request to have your family or support representative and/or their physician contacted regarding your admission to the hospital.

Involuntary Detention Process

This document is intended as a summary for your use and is only representative of the involuntary commitment court process while hospitalized at Wyoming Behavioral Institute and in the Fifth District Court of Wyoming.

This is often referred to as the “3-81” process. State law allows for involuntary detention hearings to be held where patients are receiving treatment rather than in the counties where they were detained.

Natrona County maintains agreements with many other Wyoming counties to allow hearings to be held at Wyoming Behavioral Institute. This allows for speedier access to mental health treatment in a safe and therapeutic environment for those that need this level of care or hospitalization, especially from counties that do not have inpatient psychiatric services.

Please note: The court appointed examiner may be someone besides your attending physician or therapist. However, the examiner will work closely with your treatment team to develop recommendations. Depending on circumstances and court hearing type, additional evaluation may be required by the examiner.

Please visit with your attorney if you have further questions. The hearings are conducted at the hospital to minimize disruption to your treatment. Wyoming Behavioral Institute does not compensate any of the court appointed officers for that function. Members of your treatment team are employed by Wyoming Behavioral Institute and may provide testimony or opinion at the hearing.

Involuntary Detention FAQ

How will I be notified of my hearings?

You and your appointed attorney will receive timely notification of your hearing date and time during your stay. If you do not receive notification, please contact our patient advocate or your appointed counsel.

If you wish to have your own attorney rather than the court-appointed attorney, the patient is responsible for payment and arrangements. The court needs the name and address of your
attorney as soon as possible so your attorney is officially notified of the hearing.

Who will be in the court hearing?

Although the court may decide whom it wishes to call to testify or witness, typically the court hearing will consist of:

  • An appointed court commissioner (person acting as judge) to preside over the hearing and make rulings.
  • Natrona County Attorney’s office representative to represent the interests of the county and state of Wyoming, who may meet with you prior to your hearing.
  • Court-appointed attorney or your attorney to represent your interests, who will meet with you prior to your hearing.
  • Court-appointed examiner to review the available clinical information and present their opinion to the court regarding continued detention or involuntary hospitalization proceedings.
  • Any other witnesses as directed by the court.

Why is my court hearing by telephone or video?

Some counties and courts have decided to conduct their own hearings rather than asking Natrona County to hold hearings on their behalf. Some counties may ask you to appear in court by teleconference. Our staff will make every effort to accommodate these requests.

Please visit with your attorney or appointed counsel for questions regarding this process.

Seek Help Today

For more information or to arrange a confidential assessment at no charge, please call 800-457-9321 or use our contact form. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.