How to Prepare for a Stay at a Residential Health Facility

a brick building with a gate and a gate in front of it

Sometimes you need a little time to regroup your thoughts, which is often hard to do at home. Some people look to residential health facilities for help with getting their feet back on the ground. Going to a residential treatment center for help can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you go in with the right tools to make your stay there as seamless of a transition as possible residential health faculties can change your life and the life. There are many treatment programs and different residential programs for adults and teens alike that you can look at and choose which one is right for you.

How do you find the right treatment center for you or your family member?


The best way to prepare for a stay in a treatment center is to do a thorough search for the closest treatment center near you and your family. One way to do that would be through an internet search using the keywords “residential treatment centers near me.” Polaris Teen Center offers various programs for you to choose from if you are looking for a teen/young adult treatment center. Once you find a place that looks appealing to you or the person receiving treatment, look at the residential treatment programs they offer. Not all treatment centers provide the same services, so you should keep what works best for your mental health condition in mind. Do you need individual therapy? Do you want to receive counseling? The type of treatment you will receive varies and depends on what you’re going for.

If you are looking at a treatment center for something like drug or alcohol abuse issues, you may need to look at places that cater to rehab-related topics. If you are going for a professionally diagnosed mental condition, you should probably find a place treating that specific condition. Determine whether you want to stay in a faculty that has 24-hour care. That can make a big difference in what you will be required to bring for your stay. Once you find a place that meets all of your requirements, make a list of things you can’t be without. Some items may not be allowed at your faculty, but here are a few things that might help you adjust to your new living situation.

What can you bring with you?


So you picked the perfect treatment center, and now you need to figure out what to bring with you. Hopefully, you were given a guideline that listed the items that are allowed to be kept on your person for the duration of your stay. If not, you can contact your residential faculty and request a list of the dos and don’ts for packing.

The little things count when you’re going to be away from home for a long time. Sometimes something as simple as a floor plant can help you feel more at home. It can also give you something to take care of and help you feel less alone.


You need to take some more significant items into special consideration when packing, like clothes. Make sure you pack comfortable clothing. Make sure to pack things that aren’t difficult to wash as you may not be allowed to clean them yourself.

The main pieces of clothing that you should pack are:

  • Pants
  • Comfortable shoes (sturdy/comfortable shoes that you can wear daily)
  • Shirts (preferably casual t-shirts)
  • Socks
  • Undergarments
  • One bathing suit (just in case)
  • Slippers
  • Pajamas (if they aren’t supplied to you by the faculty)


Some residential faculties and rehab facilities require you to bring your own toiletries. When you pack these, please keep in mind that these faculties also often require alcohol-free products. A quick internet search can help you out with that.

Make sure to make a list of things you use daily to see if they meet the residential treatment facility’s requirements that you will be staying in. Somethings that you should keep in are as follows:

  • Bring all of your prescribed medicine in a clear Ziploc bag (make sure that they are packed securely)
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Dental care products (toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Soap
  • Washcloths
  • Towels


You will have a lot of time on your hands, and if you are the type of person that gets bored quickly, you should probably consider packing things to keep yourself occupied. You may not be allowed to watch TV during your stay, as it may interfere with your treatment, but there are other forms of entertainment that you can bring:

  • Reading material
  • A Journal
  • Music and an approved listening device
  • A musical instrument (if allowed)
  • Camera (if allowed)

Staying in a residential health facility is meant to be a life-changing experience for most that shouldn’t be stigmatized or feared. If you go in with your eyes open, it can and will change your life and the lives of those that you love and care about. Good luck and take care of yourself.