Caritas Acute Mental Health Unit

Caritas is an inpatient mental health unit that provides safe and inclusive care to adults who are require acute mental health care. Our team of nurses, doctors and allied health staff provide holistic and collaborative care during the acute phase of mental illness. 

We believe that all people can recover from mental illness and return to their normal level of functioning. 

Functioning looks different for everyone, so we aim to understand what is important to each individual, taking into consideration their occupational, physical, spiritual, social, and psychological wellbeing. 

Our Team

Treatment is led by specialised psychiatrists with collaboration from social work, occupational therapists and specialised nursing staff. 

Our Peer Workers are people with lived experience of mental health care and in-hospital treatment. The peer workers offer support to those experiencing mental ill-health having first-hand experience in what it is like to live with a mental health condition. 

Our Care

All patients are assessed by a Mental Health Clinician who will initiate a treatment plan in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team (MDT). The multidisciplinary team is made up of a consultant psychiatrist, a psychiatric registrar, social workers, occupational therapists, a psychologist, peer worker and specialised mental health nurses. The team aims to collaborate with each patient, and with permission, their main supports and carers.  We actively encourage family members and carers to be involved in the treatment and recovery plan. 

Our goal is to build on each individual’s recovery by focusing on their strengths. We guide each person to understand what having good mental health means to them and to identify the early warning signs that they, or others around them experience when they may be becoming unwell. We support personalised planning, treatment preferences and strategies for self-management in the future if they were to start feeling unwell again. 

Our team aims to provide the least restrictive means of safe and effective care. Discharge planning begins from the point of admission with the aim to have each patient back in the community as soon as possible, with the appropriate supports in place so to facilitate their usual level of functioning. 

What to expect

  • We encourage maintaining a level of routine while you are in hospital. Taking some leave from the ward offers patients and their supports the opportunity to experience a regular environment and activities, while we monitor progress towards recovery and preparation for discharge from hospital. 
  • Our set leave times are between: 10am – 12pm & 3pm – 5pm daily

    Hot meals are served three times per day on the ward. Breakfast (8am), Lunch (12.30pm) and Dinner (6pm) If you have special dietary requirements just let your nurse know when you come to hospital. 
  • Being in hospital can be very stressful time patients and their loved ones. With that in mind we ask that you are respectful towards others, giving the personal space and being mindful of privacy.  Photos are not permitted on the ward.
    If you would like to make a phone call we ask that you do so in a private area. 
  • We conduct daily groups and activities such as exercise, hearing voices group, mindfulness and sensory modulation.
  • There is strictly no smoking in the hospital or the surrounding hospital.
  • Every day you will meet with different members of the team. Each patient will have a dedicated nurse allocated each shift – this is the person who will be advocating for you and providing updates to the rest of the team as to how you are feeling throughout each shift. 


Two nominated visitors per patient, per day are welcomed in Caritas during visiting hours (10am – 8pm). 

Preparing for admission

Before coming into hospital you will likely want to bring some of your personal items with you.  It’s a good idea to pack a small bag including clothing and toiletries. Please try to avoid bringing valuable items with you. If you do bring valuable items, such as money we can keep account of it and hold it in the safe until it’s needed. The nursing staff will check your belongings so that any items which could pose a risk on the ward are stored safely. 

Post discharge/after care

After discharge all patients will have community follow-up which could range from home visits, phone contact or follow up appointments at the O’Brien Centre, here at St Vincent’s.