Can You Visit Someone On A 72-Hour Hold? What You Need To Know

can you visit someone on a 72 hour hold

When a family member or friend is placed on a 72-hour hold, it can be a difficult and confusing time for everyone involved. As a visitor, it is important to understand the implications of the hold and prepare yourself for the visit. Visiting someone on a 72-hour hold can be a difficult experience, but it is also an opportunity to provide support and understanding. Knowing the rules and regulations of the facility, what to expect during the visit, and how to best support the person on hold will help make the experience as positive as possible. This article will provide an overview of what you need to know when visiting a loved one on a 72-hour hold.

Understanding The Rules And Regulations Of The Facility

  • A 72-hour hold is a period of time during which a person may be involuntarily detained in a psychiatric hospital. The hold is usually initiated after a psychiatric emergency or crisis. The length of the hold varies from state to state. The California Department of Health Services states that a person who may be a danger to themselves or others can be taken into custody for up to 72 hours for evaluation and treatment.
  •  A person who is believed to be experiencing a mental health crisis but does not meet the criteria for being taken into custody can be admitted to a mental health facility voluntarily. In both of these situations, a psychiatric evaluation and written consent are required. During the 72-hour hold, the patient will have access to mental health services such as therapy, medication, and doctor visits. Visitors can play an important role in helping the patient get through the hold by providing emotional support, helping them stay connected with their loved ones, and assuring them that they are not alone in this difficult experience.
  • Your loved one may be on a 72-hour hold in a local hospital, or they may be in a psychiatric ward of a general hospital. You will want to make sure you understand the rules and regulations of the facility so that you do not violate them and cause further stress for your loved one. For example, you may be allowed to visit for a limited amount of time (often 30 minutes to one hour), or you might have to schedule the visit and sign in so that everyone in the facility is accounted for. 
  • You may also need to bring identification to prove that you are a family member, or you may be restricted from certain areas of the facility because of your loved one’s condition or behavior. If your loved one is in a psychiatric ward in a general hospital, you may find that the rules and regulations are more strict and rigid than if they were in a psychiatric facility. The rules and regulations will be posted either in the facility or on their website. It is important that you understand the rules so that you do not violate them and cause stress for your loved one. It will also allow you to focus on providing emotional support to your loved one and allow them to feel more at home in the environment.

What To Expect During The Visit

  1. A person on a 72-hour hold may be in a state of confusion, anxiety, and fear. They may be experiencing a mood episode such as depression, mania, or anxiety. They may also be experiencing a psychotic episode that makes it difficult to communicate with you. 
  1. The person may not be sleeping, eating well, or taking care of themselves. They may be confused and disoriented, or they may be experiencing hallucinations and delusions. They may also be very agitated, angry, and agitated, making it difficult to communicate with you.
  1. It is important to be patient and respect the person’s right to have the mental space and time to heal. It is important not to take the person’s behavior personally and to recognize that the person is not being rude; they are simply not capable of behaving like themselves at this time. 
  1. Your loved one may react negatively to you as a visitor, either because they are not aware of who you are or they are not capable of recognizing you. It is important to be patient and to hold back on your emotions.

Tips For Preparing For The Visit

  • When visiting a loved one on a 72-hour hold, it is important to understand the best ways to prepare for the visit. Your loved one is likely experiencing significant trauma and stress, which means that you will want to be sensitive to this. Here are some tips for preparing for the visit. – Prepare for a long visit. 
  • You may not be allowed to stay for long during the visit, but it is important to spend as much time as you can with your loved one. Prepare for a long visit and make sure to bring food, water, and a blanket that your loved one can use if they become agitated. 
  • Bring items that will help the person stay connected. You may want to bring pictures of loved ones, journals, or music that your loved one enjoys. You can also bring items that help the person engage with you, such as a puzzle, coloring book, or a deck of cards. 
  • Bring something to help the person regulate their emotions. If your loved one is in a manic state, they may not be able to engage in productive conversation. You may want to bring something such as a fidget spinner or stress ball to help them to calm down so that you can have a productive conversation. 
  • Be aware of the person’s surroundings. Be sensitive to the noise and light in the room, and try to distract the person with music or a sensory toy if they become agitated.

Strategies For Connecting With The Person On The Hold

  1. When visiting a loved one on a 72-hour hold, it is normal to experience feelings of uncertainty, confusion, and frustration. You may be uncertain about what to do or how to help your loved one. 
  1. You may be wondering, “What can I do to help?” It is important to understand that everyone responds to a crisis in a different way and that the best way to help your loved one is to be there for them. There are many strategies that you can use to help connect with your loved one. It is important to remember that you cannot control the person’s behavior or the outcome of the experience, but you can control how you choose to respond to the situation. 
  1. Be patient and kind – Your loved one is likely experiencing significant trauma and stress, which means that you will want to be sensitive to this. Be patient and understanding, and try to have a calm and peaceful conversation with the person. Avoid arguing with the person or getting frustrated with their behavior.
  1. Bring photos of loved ones – You can bring photos of the person’s family members, friends, or pets who are special to them. You can also look at photos together, and they may help the person connect with you.
  1. Bring a journal or a puzzle – Journaling and puzzling have been shown to help with regulating emotions and engaging the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for self-control. Connect with the person in their language
  1. Your loved one may be struggling to understand what is happening to them, so you may want to try to connect with them in their language. If they are upset or agitated, you may want to sit with them and hold their hand, or you can use a grounding strategy.

Advice For Talking To Family And Friends

  • If your loved one on a 72-hour hold is connected with a person who is not close to them, it is important, to be honest with the person about their situation. 
  • You can be honest about the length of the stay and the reasons why they were taken into custody. 
  • You can also let them know that they are not alone in this difficult experience and that they have your support. It is important to try to maintain a connection with your loved one even if they are not able to fully understand what is happening to them.
  •  Let them know that you care about them and that you are there to support them. Maintain contact with their friends and family so that they can receive support.


Visiting someone on a 72-hour hold can be a challenging experience. During these visits, it is important to focus on calming your loved one down and providing them with support and understanding. There are many challenges that come with visiting someone on a 72-hour hold, but it is also an opportunity to provide emotional and psychological support to a person in need.

Douglas Underwood

Douglas Underwood is a freelance news writer who specializes in writing about current events and politics. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and has been working as a journalist for the past five years. He is an avid reader and loves spending his free time exploring new places.