Your Stay

When you receive care with us in Willow Grove Adolescent Unit, we know that you might have questions about your mental health treatment and supports.

Here, we answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about what to expect when you are in Willow Grove. We have a physical inpatient unit and an online Homecare service

General information

General information

Who is my care team?

The Willow Grove team is made up of mental health professionals with different areas of expertise, who work together and combine their skills to best support your individual needs. During your care, you might engage with adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, a social worker, a family therapist, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) therapist, a teacher and/or a dietician and more, depending on what best suits your recovery.

Who is my key worker?

You will be assigned a key worker, who will keep in regular contact with you throughout your care. Your key worker is the health professional acting as the link between you and your care team. They will also liaise with your family members, carers, or other healthcare professionals, where appropriate.

We recommend that you link in with your key worker regularly about any worries or concerns you may have. An associate key worker will also be available to you at times when your key worker is not available.

What is my care plan?

You are actively involved in all aspects of your care from planning to delivery. On the day of admission to Willow Grove – either as an inpatient or through Homecare – our team will draw up a personalised care plan with you.

A care plan is a set of goals and targets for your mental health recovery. It is reviewed regularly throughout your care. Reviews of your care plan include looking at the progress you have made since admission, the goals you have achieved, and so on, in order to ensure your recovery is progressing and that your opinions on your care and treatment are taken into account.

Usually, your care plan review will involve filling out an evaluation form which you will be asked to complete weekly. Topics covered on the form include how you feel, your views and opinions, and any questions you may want answered. Your responses to these questions are then discussed at the weekly team meeting and feedback is provided afterward by your key worker.

What about my privacy and confidentiality?

The staff at Willow Grove all work as part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT), which means that information about you will be shared between all team members. We do this to ensure that you receive the best possible care and treatment.

Sharing information with a person outside the team will only happen in consultation with you and in accordance with our Child Protection Policy. We are required to share information about you with your parents or carers and, where possible, we aim to do this in conjunction with you.

Can I make a suggestion or complaint?

Absolutely. Our team at Willow Grove aims to provide care and treatment to the highest standard. This means that it’s really important to us that we have constant feedback from young people about what’s helpful and what’s not.

Comments on both the positive and negative aspects of our service are welcome. All the information gathered is used to evaluate and improve our service on an ongoing basis. Nursing staff can provide you with guidance about how to give feedback.

FAQs about inpatient care

If you are an inpatient in Willow Grove, this means you will be staying on the ward here for a period of time. There are 14 beds in Willow Grove, so you will be here with other young people. You will have your own bedroom and ensuite, and there are lots of other facilities you can use or activities you can take part in during your stay.

Just click on any of the questions below to learn more about staying in Willow Grove.

  • What will my days in Willow Grove look like?

    Your stay at Willow Grove will involve attending a variety of activities through our Young Person’s Group Programme. This includes school, therapy groups, and recreational sessions. You may also attend family meetings, individual sessions and ward rounds during the day. There will also be free time for activities.

    Community meetings take place in Willow Grove twice a day. These meetings are an alternative space where you can discuss concerns or issues with the team. They involve catching up with staff to check how things are going for you, discussing your plan for the day, identifying goals, and drawing staff’s attention to any other areas of concern for you.

    We also run a youth advocacy programme where, every second week, you can meet with an independent mental health advocate who can help you to ensure your voice is heard in all aspects of your care.

    You will spend your first weekend on the ward and the Willow Grove staff will work with you to develop a plan about how to spend your days. Generally, at the weekends, the routine is much more relaxed.

  • Are there leisure or social activities I can take part in?

    There are a number of recreational areas available to you in Willow Grove. Different activities take place in Willow Grove each day too. We believe these activities are equally important to the other groups and therapy sessions you take part in. Participating in all elements of the group programme is what leads to recovery and wellbeing.

    Examples of activities you might take part in include:

    • Arts and crafts
    • Football
    • Baking
    • Table quizzes
    • Karaoke
    • Table tennis
    • Board games
    • Basketball
    • Gardening
    • Playing games or Nintendo Wii
    • Cooking
    • Watching films or TV.
  • What should I bring?

    Some items that will be helpful for you to bring include:

    • Appropriate clothes for day and night, including a jacket for outdoor activities
    • Toiletries, including roll-on deodorant (sprays are not allowed)
    • Books or magazines you enjoy reading
    • Some items to personalise your bedroom
    • A small amount of pocket money (maximum €20).

    You will have a locker allocated to you which you can use to store items safely. You are responsible for your own property.

    Please note that, when you are being admitted to Willow Grove, a member of the nursing team will go through your belongings with you and take a list of the belongings you have brought with you. This is to make sure that any potentially harmful or dangerous items are either sent home with your parents or carers or taken and stored safely in a locker.

  • What should I not bring for my stay in Willow Grove?

    There are a number of items you cannot bring with you to Willow Grove. This is with your own and everyone else’s safety and comfort in mind.

    Please do not bring any:

    • televisions
    • laptops
    • tablets
    • cameras
    • DVD players
    • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth-enabled devices.

    You will be assigned a tablet when you are admitted, which you can use for educational purposes or to make video calls to family or friends. There is also a computer in the lounge area of Willow Grove which is available for accessing the Internet and going online.

    You are also not allowed to bring any:

    • inappropriate viewing material (magazines, computer games, CDs, DVDs for over 16s, and so on)
    • sharp items (like knives or scissors)
    • items of high value
    • belts or cords
    • aerosols or sprays
    • stimulant drinks or beverages in cans (bottles only please)
    • alcohol
    • illegal substances or “Headshop” products.
  • Can I use my mobile phone?

    Personal mobile phones are not allowed in Willow Grove. Instead, you will be provided with a mobile phone without a camera during your time in Willow Grove. You can insert your own SIM card into this phone in order to make calls, send messages, and so on.

    Mobile phone usage is restricted to certain times throughout the day in order to avoid disruption to the group programme.

  • Can I use a music device, like an MP3 player or iPod?

    You will be allowed your music device in between the times you attend the group programme and again throughout the evening. iPods or music devices with access to the Internet or a camera facility are not permitted.

  • Do I have my own bedroom?

    You will have your own bedroom and ensuite bathroom.

    When you are admitted, you will be given a fob key which you can use to open and lock your bedroom door exclusively. The only other people with access to your bedroom are staff from Willow Grove.

    The bedroom corridor will be closed off during the day while you are attending the group programme. Young people are not allowed to enter each other’s bedrooms at any time.

  • What time do I have to get up at?

    During the week, morning wake up calls usually start after 8am, with breakfast being served at 8.30am.

  • What time do I have to go to bed at?

    During the week, at night, bedtime is at 10.30pm, with lights out at 11pm. Over the weekend, these times are more flexible, as we know young people like to get up late and go to bed later.

  • Can I have visitors?

    Yes, you can have visitors when you are in Willow Grove, with two people able to visit you at one time. Visiting can be arranged through the Willow Grove team.

    You will be asked to provide a list of agreed visitors. All visitors must be pre-approved by your parents. Any visitor under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult already named on your visitor list.

    In the first week, visits take place on the ward only; after this, they may take place in other places on the campus, based on your physical and mental health.

  • Can I leave or spend time away from Willow Grove?

    Arrangements for leave or spending time away from Willow Grove will depend on your individual needs and care plan. This will be discussed and decided on along with your parents or guardians also. 

  • Will I be safe?

    The team works very hard to ensure that Willow Grove remains a safe space at all times.

    Nursing staff routinely carry out checks throughout the day. These checks are to confirm that all young people are present and okay, while also ensuring that no items that could potentially be unsafe have entered Willow Grove.

    Nursing staff will also go through any items or property brought into Willow Grove after admission. You can help us with this process by remembering to go through any new items you bring into Willow Grove with a staff member before returning to your room, and also making sure that your visitors do the same.

    If, for any reason, you feel unsafe in Willow Grove, please talk to any member of the Willow Grove team as soon as possible.

FAQs about the adolescent Homecare service

If you are in the adolescent Homecare service, you will be receiving mental healthcare remotely. This means you can be in familiar surroundings as you go through your recovery, without travelling to hospital or being away from your family. You will have access to support 24 hours a day.

Click on the questions below to find out more about what to expect from Homecare.

  • What happens when I start in Homecare?

    When you are admitted to the Homecare Service, you will have an initial online meeting with the Willow Grove team. They will explain to you and your parents all about how the Homecare service works and what the weekly timetable is like. They will also give you the practical information you need to know.

    You will be provided with links for all your video appointments. If you have any difficulty accessing your video appointments, our Service User IT Support (SUITS) team can provide support. You can call SUITS at 01 249 3629 or email

  • Can I keep going to school?

    Your educational needs will be discussed when you begin the Homecare service. You might attend school for some time during the day, depending on your individual care plan.

  • What are typical days in Homecare like?

    You will receive a weekly timetable for the Homecare service which will give you a breakdown of each day’s schedule.

    In general, from Monday to Friday, you can expect to:

    • Have a daily phone call with your key worker
    • Take part in a weekly review with your consultant
    • Have weekly appointments with other team members
    • Attend school, if this is part of your care plan.

    Breaks and regular mealtimes are advised and included in your timetable to give you time to rest, eat and look after your physical health.

    At the weekends, you will continue to receive a daily phone call from your key worker.

  • Where should I attend Homecare from?

    Your Homecare appointments work best when you are in your own home environment. For example, it’s not possible to talk to your team in a private, relaxed way in a busy school environment. This means you need to be at home for all scheduled appointments to get the most out of them.

    It is best to find a quiet, private space at home where you can engage with the members of your team in private and without disturbance. You might find it helpful to discuss with your parents, guardians, family, or anyone you live with where this place would be and let them know that you would like privacy there.

    It can be helpful to remind your parents, family, or people you live with of your schedule so that they can give you space for your appointments.

FAQs from parents and carers

We know it can be a difficult time for families if your child is receiving care with us here in Willow Grove, either as an inpatient or through Homecare. Please be assured that we offer a safe, supportive environment where we work with you and your child to move them toward recovery and develop skills to improve and maintain their mental health.

You can find out more about your child’s care by clicking on the questions below.

  • Are family members involved in treatment?

    At all times, our staff aim to work in partnership with each young person admitted to Willow Grove – either as an inpatient or through Homecare - and their family.

    Throughout admission, a number of meetings will be held with the young person and our team, some of which may involve parents or guardians. These meetings aim to help families discover their own strengths and resources, while also identifying appropriate ways of managing the young person’s difficulties.

  • Will medication be part of my child's treatment?

    If medication is thought to be appropriate for your child, the consultant psychiatrist will discuss medication options with you.

    No psychiatric medication will be started without your consent, except in emergency situations. Information about the effects and potential side effects of any new medication prescribed for your child will be discussed with you prior to beginning the new medication.

    If your child is in the Homecare service and prescribed new medication to support their recovery, we can liaise with local pharmacies to arrange for medication prescribed to be provided.

  • What will my child be doing every day?

    The daily activities your child will be involved in will depend on their needs and personal care plan, and whether your child is admitted to our inpatient unit or to our Homecare service.

  • What about my child's education?

    Young people receiving inpatient care in Willow Grove have regular access to a dedicated classroom space and teaching staff throughout the school year. These staff facilitate learning both on an individual and group basis. If permitted to do so, our team can also liaise with your child’s school throughout their admission to ensure continuity. 

    If your child is in the Homecare service, education is tailored to their individual needs. For example, some young people attend school in the mornings, and avail of Homecare service supports in the afternoon.

    Planning for a transition back to school may also take place for young people not attending school at the time of admission.

  • Can my child leave the hospital?

    If your child is receiving inpatient care in Willow Grove, any leave arrangements will be discussed with you as part of their care plan. The team will let you know when leave is permitted on the hospital grounds; this is usually after a week on the unit, where appropriate.

  • What happens around the time of discharge?

    In general, our team will decide together with you and your child when the young person is ready for discharge from either inpatient care or the Homecare service.

    Arrangements for follow-up care will be discussed with you and your child at a discharge planning meeting with the team before they are discharged. The team will provide you with the details of follow-up appointments, if available, and, if needed, a prescription for medication needed after discharge.

  • When can I visit my child in hospital?

    If your child is receiving inpatient care, visiting times fall between 6pm and 8pm from Monday to Friday. At the weekends, visiting tends to take place between 2pm to 5pm and 6pm to 8pm.

    Visiting guidelines are in place to ensure the safety and privacy of all young people in our care. All visitors must attend at the arranged time as this prevents disruption to the therapeutic programme.

    Upon admission, a nurse will draw up a list of visitors in agreement with you and your child.

  • How long will my child need care for?

    The length of admission to Willow Grove, either as an inpatient or in Homecare, varies from young person to young person. Each young person’s time in Willow Grove depends on the level of care needed, their personalised care plan, and their progress toward achieving their treatment goals.

  • Who should I ask when I have questions?

    Your child will be assigned a key worker, who acts as a link between you, your child, and their care team. 

    We recommend that you link in with the key worker about any questions or concerns you may have in relation to your child’s care. 

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How to access


For general queries, please call us. For more on mental health and our services, see our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

01 249 3200 See our FAQs


Contact Referral and Assessment Service for queries regarding referrals to our services.

01 249 3635 See more from our referrals team