Frequently Asked Questions

Information Regarding Walden’s Thoreau Inpatient Unit

What ages do you treat at the Thoreau Center?

16 years and older.

How are patients admitted?

Patients are generally referred by physicians, psychologists, nurses and social workers at local hospital emergency rooms or crisis centers. Admissions to the Thoreau Center are accepted 24 hours a day.

What is the admissions process?

Please refer to the Admissions section of the website

Are patients treated on a voluntary or involuntary basis?

Most patients are treated on a voluntary basis, but we do accept involuntary patients

What is the average length of stay?

It depends on a patient’s individual needs and insurance coverage, but the average length of stay is eight days.

What are visiting hours?

Visiting hours at the Thoreau Center are 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Sunday. On Saturdays and Sundays an additional visiting period is available from 2:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Clergy, lawyers and outpatient treatment team members are permitted to visit anytime.

How can I communicate with my loved one?

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 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

To contact your loved one in treatment, call the patient unit telephones at 781-647-2907 or 781-647-2912.

Will insurance cover a patient’s care in the program?

When individuals are presented to Walden for admission, our admission staff checks their insurance coverage prior to their admission.

What kind of therapy is offered at the Thoreau Center?

Treatment includes individual therapy, case management, group therapy including psycho-education and after-care planning. For a full list of groups, click here.

What’s the smoking policy on the Thoreau Center?

Walden Behavioral Care’s Thoreau Center is located in a designated non-smoking facility where smoking is prohibited. This means there is NO SMOKING for patients. Nicotine replacements — patches, lozenges, or gum — can be provided by your doctor. We know it can be very difficult not to smoke, and we appreciate your cooperation.

Are children allowed on the Thoreau Center?

Per the Department of Mental Health, Walden can not restrict visitors. However, we will only allow a child on the center after clinical review, and if we feel it is safe.

What can one expect when it’s time to leave the Thoreau Center?

From the day a patient is admitted to any of Walden’s programs, the staff begins the process of developing a discharge plan that will create a smooth transition to another level of care or back to the community.

Walden staff works with each patient, their family and their outpatient providers to implement the plan. The plan may include, but is not limited to, discharge to an outpatient program, a day treatment program, a group home or a residential facility.

Since discharge itself creates a number of challenges, it is essential that discharge planning begin upon admission. This allows sufficient time for the development of a comprehensive discharge plan that will meet the needs of the patient and their family.

Walden staff can help by:
  • Securing appropriate placement for patients. (Group home, residential, PHP, IOP or after care)
  • Arranging outpatient appointments with patients
  • Identifying a primary care physician, if needed, to handle all medical issues

If I identify a patient care or safety issue during my treatment on Thoreau, how can I report it?

1. Speak with a staff member and allow us to address the matter as promptly and completely as possible.
2. File a written Human Rights complaint, using the form available at the center, or contact our human rights officer at 781-647-6713.
3. Report your concern to the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring by either calling 800-994- 6610 or emailing

Questions regarding outpatient services

Where are your outpatient services located?

Waltham, Massachusetts.

What ages do you treat at your outpatient offices in Waltham?

Children, adolescents and adults

In what types of mental illnesses do the outpatient services staff specialize?

The staff specializes in the treatment of depression and other mood disorders, anxiety disorders, ADHD, PTSD and eating disorders.

What treatment services do your outpatient services include?

Our outpatient services include psychopharmacology consultations, medication management and nutritional counseling for adolescents and adults seeking psychiatric care.

Do you accept insurance for your outpatient services?