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Housing-Related Discharge Delays

People living with mental health conditions have the legal right to receive services in the most integrated setting. That means that someone who no longer requires inpatient level of care should be promptly discharged to the community of their choice, with access to the needed supports and services of their choice. 

Sometimes, however, discharge from the hospital is delayed because the individual does not have a place to live – psychiatric hospitals are not supposed to discharge people to a homeless shelter or to the streets.

Sometimes a person is living in an apartment before they are admitted to a hospital. Since discharge planning is supposed to begin upon admission to the hospital, social work staff at the hospital should determine what is necessary to maintain that housing so that it might remain available as an option for discharge.   If that is not a possibility, a discussion should begin as to where the individual would like to live upon discharge from the hospital.  Multiple options for discharge should be explored.

CLRP is currently pursuing litigation against the state of Connecticut to enforce patients’ legal right to timely discharge from the hospital once they no longer meet civil commitment standards. This includes ensuring that there is adequate funding for supportive housing – which pairs affordable housing with wrap-around services and supports – so that individuals do not remain “stuck” in the hospital because they do not have a place to live.

If you are inpatient at a state-operated psychiatric hospital and are facing barriers to discharge because you do not have housing, please contact CLRP.

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