Information for Walden’s Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Program

For Families and Caregivers

We understand that this may be a difficult, stressful and confusing time for you as your loved one is admitted to the Thoreau Center. You may have several questions or concerns regarding the admissions process, the care your relative or friend will receive and when you can visit with them. To help alleviate some of your concerns, we have outlined important information in the admissions section of this website to guide you through this process.

For Providers

If your patient has been admitted to the Thoreau Center it is important for you to know that our clinical team is dedicated to working with you throughout your patient’s treatment at Walden BehavioralTM, upon discharge and after your patient has reintegrated back into the community. Please feel free to explore the programs and services page of our website by clicking here.

Admissions Overview

When a patient arrives at the Thoreau Center they are immediately greeted at the door by a mental health counselor or an admitting nurse. The staff member will check the patient’s height, weight and vital signs (temperature, heart rate and blood pressure). In addition, the patient’s clothing and belongings will be checked for any potentially harmful items, and the patient will be provided with a list of items that are not permitted on the unit for safety purposes. If any items on the patient’s possession could be harmful, they are taken and stored in a locked belongings room. After all of their items have been checked, the patient can put their remaining belongings away in their assigned room. Staff will then show them around the unit and answer any questions they may have. Shortly after touring the center, the patient will meet with an admitting nurse or psychiatrist/nurse practitioner who will begin to assess their needs and start planning their care. On the first full day that the patient is on the center, they will meet with all members of the treatment team who will work with them on their treatment plan. Within 24 hours of admission, the patient will be seen by a medical practitioner for a physical exam and will likely have routine laboratory tests taken. Other tests, such as an EKG, may be ordered if necessary.


We recommend that you not bring any valuable items or large amounts of cash onto the center. Valuables you choose to keep may be stored in the safe, but we recommend that you send them home. Walden Behavioral Care is not responsible for the replacement or cost of lost items.

Visiting Hours and Telephone Access

Visiting hours at the Thoreau Center are 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2 p.m to 4:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Clergy, lawyers and outpatient treatment team members are permitted to visit anytime.

In order to maintain a safe, supportive and respectful environment for everyone, we ask all visitors to observe the following guidelines:

  • Sign in at the nurses’ station and tell the staff member at the desk who you are visiting and your relationship to the person, i.e. friend or relative.
  • Respect the limit of no more than two visitors per patient to help us maintain a safe and manageable environment.
  • At times our staff may need to further limit the number of visitors as well as the length of visits both for individual patients or for the unit as a whole.
  • Please leave your personal belongings in the car. Car keys are the only items allowed on the unit. Visitors may bring items for patients, but they must be checked by staff at the nurses’ station to ensure they are permitted on the unit.
  • No outside food or drink is allowed on the unit.
  • Visitors will be asked to leave if they:
    • Display loud and disrespectful behavior,
    • Appear intoxicated,
    • Bring drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol onto the unit. If this occurs they will not be permitted to return.

Visiting is to take place only in the dining room (not in patient rooms), unless previously approved by staff.

Telephone Calls

While cell phones are not allowed on the unit, patients have 24-hour access to two free patient phones located on the unit. Incoming calls can be received 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

If you would like to contact your loved one in treatment, call the patient unit telephones at these numbers: 781-647-2907 or 781-647-2912.

Please note: For privacy reasons, cell phones and cameras are not allowed on the unit, so please leave them in the car. In addition, any items considered to be a safety risk to patients on the unit will be held by staff until the conclusion of your visit. Examples of such items are cigarettes, lighters, matches, medication and sharp objects.