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How Do I Prepare for My Stay at a Jackson House?

Are you about to stay at Jackson House for the first time? Our staff wants to welcome everyone with open arms, but we know it's not easy for first timers without knowing what to expect. 

We want to ensure you're as prepared as possible as you prepare to stay with us.

This guide will cover the admission process, what you need to know, and what to bring and not to bring. We'll also discuss the things not allowed in patient rooms or around patients' belongings, and tips for ensuring everything goes smoothly. 

We hope this guide helps prepare your mind and spirit before coming here so we can provide the best care possible during your stay. Let's get started. 

The Admission Process

Because we want to ensure that our team is the best fit for you before treatment begins, all our clients undergo an admission process. It helps us and the Jackson House Care providers decide if this facility will be a good match in helping address mental health concerns like yours.

Step 1: The First Call

It's tough to know where to turn when you or a loved one is struggling, and you're unsure what to do. But we're here to help. The first step is to give us a call at (888) 255-9280.

One of our caring admissions coordinators will ask you questions about what's going on and what kind of help you're looking for. This initial call is important because it lets us get to know you and your story better. We'll ask about your: 

  • Reason for seeking treatment
  • Medical history
  • Mental health history
  • Current symptoms
  • Treatment goals

Our admissions coordinators will also talk with your loved ones and other people around you to better understand your symptoms and how they've been affecting you. This way, we can learn more about you and what kind of support you'll need during treatment.

Step 2: The Assessment

After the first call, we'll schedule an initial assessment with one of our clinicians. It will help us determine what kind of care and level of support you'll need during treatment. 

The assessment will last about an hour, and we'll ask you questions about your:

  • Mental health history
  • Substance abuse history 
  • Medical history
  • Symptoms
  • Family history
  • Trauma history
  • Triggers
  • Support system

We'll also do a physical exam to ensure no medical concerns need to be addressed before treatment begins. Moreover, we'll talk about your treatment goals and what you hope to achieve during your stay with us.

However, in the unfortunate cases where the Jackson House is not the best fit to help you, we'll do our best to connect you with other resources in the community that can better support your needs.

Step 3: The Treatment Plan

After completing the assessment, our team will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. We'll create goals and objectives that we believe will help you recover and live a healthy, balanced life. We'll also determine which level of care is best before calling to discuss it with you.

The Jackson House is open 24/7, 365 days a year, so patients who need immediate care can be admitted as soon as possible. For patients who don't need immediate care, we'll schedule an admission date that works with your availability.

Step 4: Welcome to Jackson House

Now that you've completed the admissions process, it's time to start your journey with us. We'll welcome you with open arms and help you settle into your new home.

We know that mental health treatment can be difficult, especially if you're just starting out. That's why our psychiatrist or nurse practitioner will meet one-on-one with you during your first 72 hours here at Jackson House. Doing so will help us ensure that you're getting the best possible care and help you feel more comfortable during your stay.

Most of our clients stay with us for two weeks, but the length of your stay depends on your situation and needs. You'll participate in various therapies and activities designed to help you heal and recover during your time here.

Jackson House will also keep in touch with you for the first month after you leave to ensure you're doing well and have all the tools and resources you need to continue your journey toward recovery.

In-Network Insurance Plans

Please check to see if you have insurance and if we're in-network with your provider. We do not accept Medicaid or Medi-Cal, but accept the following insurance plans:

  • Aetna
  • Beacon/ValueOptions
  • Blue Cross/Anthem
  • Blue Shield/Magellan
  • Cigna
  • Healthnet/MHN
  • Humana
  • Kaiser
  • Sharp Health Plan
  • United

If you don't see your insurance provider listed, please call us to see if we can work with your out-of-network benefits.

Before You Come

Now that you know what to expect during the admission process, let's discuss what you should do to prepare for your stay.

Mental Preparation

It's normal to feel anxious about starting treatment. After all, change can be scary. But know that our team is here to support you every step of the way.

Some things that might help you ease anxiety and feel more prepared for treatment include:

  • Researching the facility and treatment modalities ahead of time
  • Making a list of questions to ask during the assessment
  • Reaching out to people who have been through treatment before
  • Asking your support system for help in getting ready for treatment

It's also important to have realistic expectations about your care. Remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs, and even moments where it feels like you're taking two steps back for every one step forward. 

It's not uncommon to feel discouraged at times, but know that our team is here to support you through it all. We only ask that you trust us and commit to the process to give yourself the best chance at success.

Jackson House’s Expectations from You

No treatment facility can be successful without the cooperation of its patients. We want you to be as involved in your care as possible, so we expect you to:

  • Attend all scheduled appointments and group activities
  • Arrive on time for appointments and group therapy sessions
  • Be honest with your clinicians about your symptoms, progress, thoughts, and feelings
  • Complete any assigned homework
  • Follow the facility rules
  • Respect the rights of other patients
  • Treat the staff and other patients with courtesy and respect

If you have any questions about our expectations, please don't hesitate to ask. We're here to help you in any way we can. 

Packing Your Bags

Now that you're mentally prepared for treatment, it's time to start packing your bags. We want to make your stay at Jackson House comfortable and enjoyable. To help with this, here is a list of things that you should not leave behind when coming into our facility: 


Insurance Card and ID

You must bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID when you check-in. Please ensure these items are ready, so our admissions coordinators can verify your identity and insurance benefits.

Current Medications

If you're currently taking medication, please bring them with you in their original prescription bottles. This way, our medical staff can review them and ensure they don't conflict with any medications we'll give you during treatment.

Casual Clothing

We want you to feel comfortable during your stay, so pack casual clothing that you would feel good wearing around the house for five to seven days. Please avoid anything too revealing or related to drug or alcohol use.


While you don't need to pack your entire wardrobe, you should pack some comfortable clothing to sleep in. Most Jackson House locations have washers and dryers for guests to use so you can pack light.


You'll also need to pack essential toiletries, like a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap, etc. We also recommend bringing other personal care items, like a hairbrush or makeup, for more comfortable accommodations. You may also choose to bring a shaving razor, but these are kept in the nursing station and are then signed in and out for use.

Personal Snacks

While staying at Jackson House, you are welcome to bring some of your own personal snacks. Snacks are labeled with your name and kept in the kitchen. Drinks with caffeine or alcohol are not allowed. 

Medical History & Physical Documentation from the Past Year

Please bring any medical history or physical documentation from the past year if available, as this will help our staff better understand your overall health.


You're welcome to bring a cell phone, but we ask that you leave it in your room while in the common areas. You are also allowed only certain hours of the day to use it so it won't interfere with your treatment or disrupt other patients' experiences.

If Applicable, Cigarettes or an Approved Vape Pen/Smoking Device

If you smoke cigarettes, you can bring a maximum of two cartons. If you use a vape pen or another smoking device, please make sure it's approved by our staff ahead of time. There are designated areas for smoking on our property, so please be sure to use them.


The Jackson House also has a list of prohibited items you should leave home. Please note that if you bring any of these items with you, our staff will confiscate them, or you may be asked to leave the facility:

  • Laptops, iPads, e-readers, tablets, and other personal media devices
  • Sharp objects, including sewing needles, scissors, etc.
  • Valuables, such as jewelry (we are not responsible for lost or stolen items)
  • Items containing alcohol, such as mouthwash, perfume/cologne, or aftershave
  • Any chemical liquids such as nail polish or nail polish remover
  • CDs, DVDs, and videos
  • Aerosol products, including deodorant and hairspray
  • Alcohol and illegal substances
  • Firearms, weapons, or any other supplies that would be considered harmful
  • Any clothing that is dry cleaned only
  • Sexually explicit materials or books unrelated to treatment
  • Hair dryers
  • Mirrors

These are the primary things Jackson House doesn't allow on the premises. However, our staff may forbid or confiscate other items if they deem them inappropriate or harmful.

Please note that we have zero tolerance for alcohol and illegal substances. If you're caught with them in your possession, the Jackson House staff will ask you to leave the facility immediately.

If you have questions about what you can and cannot bring, don't hesitate to contact us ahead of time. You may also click here to access the list of suggested and prohibited items or print it out and bring it with you when you check in.

What to Expect During Your Stay at Jackson House

When you arrive, our admissions coordinators will greet you and ask you to complete some paperwork. Once that's complete, one of our counselors will offer a tour of the facility and introduce you to some of the staff.

You'll also have a chance to settle into your room and unpack your belongings. If you have a loved one with you, they can help you settle in before saying goodbye.

We'll then have a group meeting to cover the rules of the house and answer any questions you may have. After that, you'll be able to participate in some of the activities and programs we offer. These include group therapy, individual counseling, educational workshops, and 12-step meetings.

You'll also have some free time to relax and get to know the other residents. We have various amenities for you to enjoy, including a fully stocked kitchen, a computer, and a courtyard.

Staff members are available 24/7 to provide support and assistance, so please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything. We know the decision to seek treatment can be difficult. Still, we'll do everything we can to make your stay at Jackson House as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Our Final Thought

Congratulations on considering Jackson House for your treatment needs! Jackson House is a safe and supportive environment where you can focus on your recovery. We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of how to prepare for your stay with us.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out at (888) 255-9280. Our admissions coordinators are available from 8 am to 8 pm PST to help you get the information you need.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.