In-patient treatment

In-patient treatment is a term used to describe intensive treatment at a mental health facility, usually a hospital, with at least one overnight stay. 1 in 10 people who use specialist mental health services will get in-patient treatment at some point.

What treatments can I get as an in-patient?

As an in-patient, you may have access to many different treatments and therapies. You can discuss these with your Mental Health Team.
In-patient services could include:
• Medication
• Cognitive behavioural therapy
• Mindfulness meditation courses
• Group therapy
• Treatment for specific difficulties, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Eating Disorders

For more information on in-patient services, talk to your GP or mental health team. You can also click on these links to visit the websites of two in-patient facilities: St John of God’s Hospital and St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services.

In-patient, out-patient and day-patient treatment

Treatments at mental health facilities sometimes fall into three categories: in-patient, out-patient and day-patient treatment. In-patient treatment means you stay over-night, while out-patient treatment means you come in for treatment in the facility but stay at home. With day-patient treatment you can also stay at home. However, it is more intensive (e.g. a full or half day of treatment) so you may have to make some changes to your daily routine.

Where can I get in-patient treatment?

There are a number of public and private in-patient treatment centres around the country. The Mental Health Commission provides a register of all approved centres for in-patient mental health treatment (including Child and Adolescent centres) in each of the HSE regions, which you might find useful. Click here for the list of mental health in-patient facilities.

We will now explain a bit more about treatment provided by two of Mental Health Reform’s members, St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services and St John of God’s Hospital.

St. Patrick's Mental Health Services

In-patient and day care

St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services is Ireland’s largest independent, not-for-profit mental health service provider.

St. Patrick’s University Hospital is located in Dublin, close to Heuston Station, and has various in-patient and day-patient treatment programmes, with specific treatment programmes for most age groups, including adolescents, young people, adults and older adults. You will need a referral from your GP to access these services. There is also a facility in Lucan, called St. Edmudsbury hospital.

Treatment programmes through St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services include:
• the Willow Grove Adolescent Unit (13-17 years)
• the Young Adult In-patient programme (18-25 years)
• the Bipolar Education Programme
• the Day Care Eating Disorder Service
• the Evergreen Programme for older adults with a focus on dementia and depression
• the Temple Centre for people with an addiction and a mental health difficulty
• Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
• Specialised treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety and other conditions are also offered.

Out-patient services: Dean Clinics

Out-patient services provided by St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services are known as the “Dean Clinics”. These clinics are based in the community rather than in the main hospital, so you may find them easier to access. Clinics are located in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
The Dean Clinics offer community-based mental health services that cater for a wide range of mental health difficulties. The Lucan Dean Clinic specifically provides services for adolescents.

You can access a free mental health assessment at the Dean Clinics on appointment. However, you might have to wait a while to get an appointment if continuous care is not available for you at the time.


Fees for in-patient care at St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services are covered by all the health insurance companies. For more information from St. Patricks’s on insurance and mental health treatment, click here.

Information and Support Service

St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ Support and Information Service is staffed by experienced mental health nurses. If you are concerned about your own mental health or the mental health of a friend/family member, you can contact the service by phone on 01 2493333 or email at, Monday – Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, with an out of hours call back service.
There is also a drop-in information centre in St. Patrick’s University Hospital, located beside the reception area that is open 10.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday with late opening Wednesday to 7.00pm. Read more here.

St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services also runs free mental health information evenings which are open to the public. See their website for more information.

St John of God’s Hospital

St John of God’s Hospital is also Dublin-based, and is located in Stillorgan (about 15-20 minutes outside the city centre). Like St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, St John of God’s also accepts referrals from all over the country as well as providing a public service to the HSE South Dublin Region.
Some treatment at St John of God’s hospital include the Dublin County Stress Clinic, which is a treatment programme for managing a broad range of stress and anxiety-related difficulties, especially occupational (work) related difficulties. Others include the St Raphael’s Suite, which caters to the mental health needs of older adults, and the Eating Disorders Recovery Programme. Specialist treatment is also available for many other difficulties, including psychosis and addiction.

For more detailed information on the treatment programmes provided by St John of God’s Hospital, you can visit their website.

Patient Advocacy Service

St John of God’s hospital also provides a Patient Advocacy Service, which is available to anyone getting treatment in the hospital. An advocate can help you learn about your rights, inform you about what you are entitled to in hospital and can advocate on your behalf, which may be helpful during times when you’re feeling vulnerable.

Medication Information Service

If you have been advised to take medication as part of your treatment, you will probably have a lot of questions about what you’re taking. St John of God’s website provides an online guide to the medications prescribed in the hospital, which includes information and guidance about side effects, pharmacology (how the medication works), and advice about beginning and ending your medical treatment. As information on the internet can sometimes be confusing or unreliable, this might be a useful resource that you can refer to between appointments or if it’s not convenient to speak to your doctor directly.


Fees for in-patient treatment are usually covered by the major Irish health insurers. These include ‘Voluntary Health Insurance’, ‘Aviva’, ‘ESB Medical Provident Fund’, ‘Saint Paul’s Garda Medical Aid’, ‘Prison Officer’s Society’ and ‘Non-Insured Patients’. For more information, see our section on payment (internal link).
What if I don’t have suitable insurance?
If you don’t have suitable insurance, you will be asked to pay a deposit when you arrive to be admitted and monthly instalments thereafter.

How much will it cost?

Fees vary. You can get an estimate of how much your stay will cost by contacting the Accounts and Admissions Department on 01 277 14 00.
What about out-patient services?

If you are using out-patient services, you will usually be asked to pay a fee on the day of your appointment. A typical fee per appointment might range from 90 to 150 euro. In some cases, you might be able to claim this back upon renewal of your health insurance policy. You should contact your health insurer directly if you want to find out more information about your cover.