Explore This Treatment Program

The Inpatient Psychiatric Service at Massachusetts General Hospital follows a treatment philosophy that combines state-of-the-art neurobiological knowledge with sophisticated psychotherapy techniques for optimal patient care.

We specialize in managing patients with difficult-to-treat conditions. We believe in treating our patients with the highest dignity and respect. We take an holistic, interdisciplinary approach to our patients’ well-being.

Treating the Full Spectrum of Psychiatric Disorders

We see patients within the full spectrum of psychiatric disorders, including:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychiatric conditions caused by medical illness
  • Schizophrenia spectrum disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Addressing Psychiatric & Medical Needs

Our 24-bed locked unit receives referrals from multiple sources, including the Acute Psychiatric Service in the Emergency Department, outpatient psychiatry clinicians and affiliated staff and other units within Mass General. We also receive referrals from throughout New England and beyond.

Our unit is located on Mass General’s main campus in Boston, so the Inpatient Psychiatric Service has 24/7 access to experts in virtually every medical and surgical specialty. This gives us the ability to treat psychiatric patients who are also medically ill.

A Multidisciplinary Treatment Team

Our staff's collective expertise enables us to offer multidimensional insight into each patient's psychiatric and medical health. Out multidisciplinary treatment team includes:

  • Attending psychiatrists
  • Resident psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Case managers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Physical therapists
  • Chaplains

What to Expect

The first step in your care is the initial evaluation. Patients are seen by a team of providers that includes:

  • An attending psychiatrist
  • A psychiatry resident
  • A case manager
  • A social worker
  • A psychiatric nurse

Each of these mental health professionals assists in the full assessment of the medical, psychiatric and psychosocial components of each patient’s health. This treatment team, led by the attending psychiatrist, uses this assessment, along with other appropriate testing, such as blood work and brain imaging, to make a diagnosis.

Making psychiatric diagnoses can be difficult. However, the mental health professionals in the Inpatient Psychiatric Service are highly specialized in their areas of expertise, which improves our ability to make a thoughtful and informed diagnosis for each patient.

A Thorough Treatment Plan

Your psychiatrist and care team will work with you and your family to tailor a thorough treatment plan designed to address each patient’s psychiatric and medical needs. Treatment may include:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Medications
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Sensory interventions to reduce anxiety (e.g. meditation and visualization)
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression

The multidisciplinary makeup of our team allows us to deliver services rarely found in acute psychiatric units, including:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Robust programs in group therapy and occupational therapy
  • Management of patients with significant medical illness

Where appropriate, we co-manage your care with a medical physician at Mass General. We also access to medical and surgical specialists from other departments for consultations.

A Plan for Continuing Care

Most patients are discharged after 5-10 days in our Blake 11 unit. Our goal is to stabilize the most severe signs of your illness so that you can function better and more safely when you leave the hospital.

Your individualized treatment plan will include a complete strategy for outpatient care, which our social workers and case managers help you and your family to carry out. Elements of this continued care plan may include day treatment, outpatient psychopharmacology (medication), recovery programs, psychotherapy, group treatment and access to community resources.

We have found that careful after-care planning can reduce the risk of relapse and repeat hospitalizations.

Professional Education

Psychiatry Education Opportunities

As part of a world-class academic medical center, the Inpatient Psychiatric Service helps educate the next generation of mental health professionals. We are a key training site for several programs:

Stanley Cobb, MD, the Department of Psychiatry's first chief, started the Inpatient Psychiatry Service at Massachusetts General Hospital in the mid-1930s. By locating the unit within the general hospital, he offered a much-needed alternative to the traditional segregation of psychiatric patients in asylums.

Today, the Inpatient Psychiatry Service continues to lead the field of psychiatry in both education and clinical care.