Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need help?

If you, a friend, or someone you love thinks you might be struggling with an emotional or substance abuse problem, help is just a phone call away.  Please call our Assessment & Referral Department at 800.776.0040 or 805.653.6434 for a free and confidential assessment.  The assessment is conducted by a licensed mental health professional and assists in determining the appropriate treatment level of care.  During the assessment, the licensed mental health professional will gather details regarding your concerns and current physical, psychological and emotional health.  Assessments are reviewed with a board-certified psychiatrist who will make treatment recommendations, always advising the least restrictive level of care.

What is the hospital like?

Vista del Mar Hospital is probably nothing like any preconceived notion you might have of what a psychiatric hospital looks or feels like.  Located in Ventura, California, it is situated on 16 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  The property provides for a quiet and peaceful setting which is conducive to a therapeutic environment.  

Who can refer patients to Vista del Mar Hospital?

  • Family members or friends of a patient
  • Emergency rooms
  • Counselors/therapists
  • Psychiatrists/psychologists
  • Mental Health Crisis Teams
  • Clergy 
  • Family Practice/Internal Medicine/Pediatric Physicians
  • The person seeking help may also call

What Information will I need to bring during the assessment/admissions process?

  • All mental health issues you are experiencing
  • Any medical conditions you may have
  • Demographic information (i.e. address, phone, etc.)
  • Driver’s License/Identification Card
  • Your insurance information

Will my health insurance cover my stay?

Vista del Mar Hospital accepts most insurance.  If a patient presents with an insurance that is out of network, we will try to work with that insurance company to approve the hospital stay.  

What happens when I get there?

You will have an initial assessment with a licensed mental health professional, and if hospitalization is indicated we will assist you through the admission process.  You will meet with nursing staff who will ask a few more questions to ensure your safety and comfort as well as orient you to the patient care unit and answer any questions that you may have.  Your belongings will be inventoried to ensure for safety and a picture is taken of all patients to assist with proper identification of a patient while they are on a hospital unit.  

If, after the initial assessment it is determined that you are not in need of services provided by Vista del Mar Hospital we will assist you in finding those services that are appropriate.  The Assessment & Referral Professional will provide you with a written list of outside professionals and/or programs and services.

How long will I stay?

The length of stay is determined on an individual basis with consideration of each patient’s treatment and discharge plans.  A patient’s stay will be determined through consultation with one’s treatment team, under the direction of the attending psychiatrist.

What should I bring with me?

Each unit has a washer and dryer available to do laundry.  Please bring three days’ worth of clothes, pajamas, socks, undergarments, and a pair of slip-on/Velcro shoes. Please make sure toiletries are in their original plastic containers.  Please no glass or aerosol containers.  Any clothing with drawstrings, belts, wires, laces are not permitted.  Please bring any medication you may be taking.  This will help us prescribe the correct medication and dosages.  We will provide you with medication during your stay.

What items are not allowed at Vista del Mar Hospital?

  • Any type of electronic devices such as cell phones, iPods, iPads, laptops, cd players, etc.
  • Jewelry
  • Any alcohol and/or illegal substances/drug paraphernalia
  • Tight fitting/revealing clothing, clothing that has profanity/depicting drug or alcohol use, gang related, etc.
  • Belts and clothing with drawstrings
  • Food and beverage (all meals and snacks will be provided)
  • Shoelaces

What can I expect from the discharge process at Vista del Mar Hospital?

Continuing care planning begins at the day of admission and is coordinated with your treatment team and case manager.  You and your assigned case manager will develop a comprehensive continuing care plan that includes, but is not limited to; follow-up appointments with aftercare providers, crisis plan, and support group information.

How much medication will I receive when I am discharged from the hospital?

Upon leaving the hospital, you will receive a prescription from your physician if appropriate to help you maintain your medication.  While it may vary on a case by case basis, the typical prescription is for a month’s supply.  You can discuss this with your physician prior to discharge.  

Will I get any paperwork when I discharge?

Upon discharge you will receive a copy of your continuing care/discharge plan.  This document will list you’re your aftercare appointment(s), your individual safety plan, as well as information regarding your diagnosis and discharge medication, as appropriate.