Your Stay

Willow Grove Adolescent Team believe various factors influence both the process of illness and recovery and therefore reflect this in the treatment approach. Care is delivered from a multidisciplinary perspective.

We adopt a collaborative approach in our work, working closely with the young person, their family and linking with referrers and community mental health services.

The unit provides a group programme in addition to individual therapy and we focus on skills to assist and maintain recovery and promote personal development.

Groups include Psychology Skills, Psychotherapy, Self Esteem, Assertiveness, Communication Skills, Recovery Group, Music, Drama, Gym, and activity groups. Education is also a central component of the programme and is tailored for individual needs and includes plans for transition back to school.

  • Hospital activities

    There are a number of recreational areas available to young people who attend Willow Grove and various planned activities take place on the Unit daily. These activities are viewed as equally important as the structured groups that take place. The team believe that participation in both the serious and the fun elements of the group programme is what leads to recovery and wellbeing.

    • Arts and Crafts
    • Going to the movies
    • Football
    • Baking
    • Table quizzes
    • Karaoke
    • Table Tennis
    • Board games
    • Basketball
    • Gardening
    • Nintendo Wii
    • Cooking
    • Watching films/TV
    • Going to museums/parks
    • And many more…
  • Individual care plans

    Each young person is actively involved in all aspects of their care from planning to implementation. Shortly after admission to Willow Grove, a care plan will be drawn up with you and will be reviewed regularly throughout your stay.

    These reviews include looking at the progress made since admission, goals achieved etc. and usually take the form of an evaluation form which you will be asked to complete weekly.

    Topics covered on the form include how you feel, your views, opinions and any questions you may want answered. Your response to these questions is then discussed at the weekly team meeting and feedback provided afterwards by your key worker.

  • Community meetings

    Community Meetings are small get-togethers that take place on the Unit twice a day. These meetings are an alternative space where concerns or issues can be discussed.

    These meetings involve catching up with staff each morning to check how things are going for you, discussing your plan for the day, identifying goals and drawing staffs’ attention to any other areas of concern for you.

Young People FAQ

  • What to expect

    The Willow Grove Adolescent Team believe various factors influence both the process of mental health difficulties and recovery and therefore reflect this in the treatment approach.

    Your stay at the Willow Grove will involve attending a variety of activities including school, therapy groups, family meetings, individual sessions and recreational sessions. There will also be free time for activities of your choice.

    All young people spend their first weekend in hospital and the Willow Grove staff will work with you to develop a plan about how to spend your days. However, generally at the weekends the routine is much more relaxed as many young people go on overnight leave or else spend time away from Willow Grove with family members.

    Spending time away from Willow Grove is dependent on your needs and will be discussed with you before each weekend.

    Sometimes at the weekend we arrange to go on outings to the movies, museums, parks etc.

  • Who will I meet?

    The Willow Grove team is made up of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and Mental Health Nurses working with Clinical Psychologists, Cognitive Behavioural Therapists, Social Worker/Family Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Advanced Nurse Practitioner/ Psychotherapist, Dietician and Teaching staff.

    On admission you will be assigned a key worker who will meet up with you on a regular basis throughout your stay. Key workers are the health professionals responsible for working with you to develop an appropriate care plan and treatment goals. Your key worker keeps in contact with you and acts as a link between you and the other members of your multidisciplinary healthcare team while you are in hospital.

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

  • What can you bring for your stay at Willow Grove?

    As part of the admission process at Willow Grove, each young person’s items will be searched in order to ensure that any potentially hazardous items are either sent home or taken and stored in a locker. Each young person is responsible for his/her own property. The following are suggested items only, neither list is exhaustive.

    • Appropriate clothes for day and night including a jacket for outdoor activities
    • Toiletries including roll on deodorant (sprays not allowed)
    • Books/Magazines you enjoy reading
    • Some items to personalise your bedroom
    • Small amount of pocket money (maximum €20)
  • What can you not bring for your stay to Willow Grove?

    • TV sets, laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players or Wifi/Bluetooth enabled devices. A tablet will be assigned to you upon admission to Willow Grove which you can use for educational purposes. There are also two stationary computers in the lounge area of the Unit which are available to all young people in order to access the internet etc.
    • Inappropriate viewing material (magazines, computer games, CD’s, DVD’s over 16, etc)
    • Any sharp items (knives, scissors etc)
    • Any items of high value
    • Belts or cords
    • Aerosols
    • Stimulant drinks, beverages in cans (bottles only please)
    • Alcohol, street/illegal substances or “Headshop” products
  • What are the visiting times?

    Monday – Friday: 6pm-8pm
    Saturday – Sunday:2pm-5pm & 6pm-8pm

    It is preferred that no more than 3 nominated people visit at the one time, as this can cause the Unit to become very busy and may prove difficult for some young people.
    All visitors must be pre-approved by your parents and individually named on your list of agreed visitors. Any visitor under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult already named on your visitor list.

  • Am I allowed to use my Music device/mp3/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.

  • Can I use my mobile phone?

    Personal mobile phones are not permitted on the Unit. Instead you will be provided with a mobile phone without a camera facility during your time at the Unit which you can insert your own SIM card into in order to make calls, send messages etc.   

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

  • What about confidentiality?

    The staff at Willow Grove all work as part of a Multidisciplinary Team which means that information about you will be shared between all team members. We do this in order 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/carers and where possible aim to do this in conjunction with you.

  • Can I make a suggestion or complaint?

    Absolutely. The staff at Willow Grove aim to provide care and treatment of the highest standard and therefore require constant feedback from young people about what’s helpful and what’s not.

    Comments on both the positive and negative aspects of the service are welcome and all information gathered is used to evaluate and improve our service on an ongoing basis. Nursing staff can provide you with instruction regarding these procedures.

  • 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?

    At night bedtime is at 10.30pm with lights out at 11.00pm. During the weekends these times are more flexible as we know young people like to get up late and go to bed later!

  • Do I have my own bedroom?

    All young people who stay at Willow Grove have their own bedroom with en-suite facilities attached. Upon admission you will be assigned a fob which you can use to open and lock your bedroom door exclusively.

    The only other people with access to your bedroom are Unit staff. 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.

  • Will I be safe?

    The team at Willow Grove work very hard to ensure that this Unit remains a safe space at all times. Nursing staff routinely carry out checks throughout the day. These checks ensure that all young people are present and okay whilst also ensuring that no items that could potentially be unsafe have entered the Unit.

    Nursing staff will also go through any items/property brought into the Unit after admission/overnight leave. You can help us with this process by remembering to go through any new items you bring onto the Unit with a staff member before returning to you room and also making sure that your visitors do likewise.

    If for any reason you feel unsafe on the Unit please approach any member of the multidisciplinary team as soon as possible.

Parents & Carers FAQ

  • Are family members involved in the treatment process?

    At all times staff endeavour to work in partnership with each young person admitted to Willow Grove Adolescent Unit and their family. Throughout admission a number of meetings will be held, some of which will involve parents.

    These meetings aim to help families discover their own strengths and resources whilst also identifying appropriate ways of managing a child’s difficulties.

  • Is medication part of the treatment package?

    Many young people with mental health difficulties respond well to a combination of medication and therapy. If in the case of your child this is deemed appropriate, the 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 commencement.

  • What goes on every day?

    The daily activities your child will be involved with are dependent on the level of care being provided. Following a period of assessment all young people will be introduced to the Unit programme. Elements of the programme include goal setting, group and individual work, therapy sessions and educational input.


  • Can my child have leave from hospital?

    Leave arrangements vary from person to person and will be discussed and decided upon in collaboration with you as part of your child’s overall care plan. We hope and expect that all young people will go on weekend leave as part of their treatment plan, once considered able enough to do so.


  • What about education?

    Education is believed to be an essential element of rehabilitation in the lives of adolescents who experience mental health difficulties. Consequently, the young people attending Willow Grove Adolescent Unit have regular access to teaching staff during the academic year that facilitate learning both on an individual and group basis.

    If permitted to do so, staff at Willow Grove Adolescent Unit can liaise with your child’s school throughout his/her admission in order to ensure continuity. 

  • When I have questions, who should I ask?

    On admission each young person is assigned a key worker, who will meet with your child regularly. Other nursing staff will be available to your child at times when their key workers are not on the Unit.

    We recommend that you link in with a key worker about any questions or concerns you may have in relation to your child’s care. You are also free to speak with other members of the team if desired.

  • What happens after discharge from hospital?

    A member of the team will discuss and arrange the details of any follow-up treatment your child may require with you. A prescription for any relevant medication will also be provided.

    arrangements for follow up care will be discussed with you and your adolescent at a discharge planning meeting with the team prior to discharge. The team will provided you with the details of follow up appointments after discharge.

    Arrangements for follow up care will be discussed with you and your adolescent at a discharge planning meeting with the team prior to discharge. The team will provided you with the details of follow up appointments after discharge.

  • When can I visit?

    Visiting times:
    Monday to Friday: 6pm-8pm
    Saturday & Sunday: 2pm-5pm & 6pm-8pm

    Visiting guidelines are in place to ensure the safety and privacy of all young people in our care. Upon admission a nurse will draw up a list of visitors in agreement with you and your child. We encourage all visitors to attend during scheduled visiting hours as this prevents disruption to the therapeutic programme.

  • How long will my child be in hospital?

    The length of admission to Willow Grove Adolescent Unit varies from person to person. Each young person’s stay is dependent on the level of care required; their personalised care plan and progress towards achieving treatment goals.

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How to access

Support and Information

Take your first step by making a call: speak to a mental health professional today.

01 249 3333

Referral and Assessment Service

Contact us for queries regarding referrals to our service.

01 249 3635 Referrals & Admissions