The trial leave…

Trial leave allows you to see how your loved one behaves outside of the psychiatric ward, without a caregiver to observe. Trials are usually held on weekends, because family and friends are usually more available at that time. If you are not available on the weekends, it is important to let the nursing staff know so that they can plan better.


Ideally, the nursing staff should let you know that your loved one will have a trial leave soon. However, sometimes you are not notified and your loved one tells you the same day. Take the time to consider the following two things:


On the one hand, you’ve just been through a crisis and a trial leave already seems to be coming to you. You may feel compelled to come and get it and don’t dare refuse. If you weren’t expecting it, you will probably be caught off guard. It is up to you to accept or refuse.


There are several reasons, all equally valid, why you might want to refuse. For example:

You don’t feel ready

You are afraid of an aggressive outburst

You are afraid of disturbing and bizarre behaviour

You fear a suicide attempt


You have the right to feel uncomfortable or unprepared. If this is the case, make this clear to the hospital staff, even if it seems to be insistent. It is always your responsibility to set and maintain your boundaries.


Other alternatives may be considered. Do not hesitate to call the Suroît Bridge for advice and support at this difficult time.


On the other hand, if you choose to receive your loved one during this leave, be aware that his place in the hospital is reserved for him. If they become disorganized, you can bring them back at any time. In fact, if this is the case, don’t hesitate to do so. A missed trial discharge is not necessarily a disaster or a failure, but an opportunity to assess symptoms and refine treatment.


Before you leave the unit, the nurse will give you an evaluation form to complete. It is important to give an account of how the discharge went. Your observations are very helpful as you know your loved one and see how well symptoms are controlled.


If you leave out any details, you can call or meet with your loved one’s nurse to complete your account. If it is not realistic enough, premature final discharge can lead to a short-term relapse. You are not doing yourself or your loved one any favors by withholding important facts.


Your loved one is preparing for his or her discharge, planning his or her return to the community. Among other things, he or she must decide where to live. During this time, take the opportunity to reflect and determine whether or not you will welcome him back into your home.


Let one of our staff members accompany you, and she will be happy to discuss the options and alternatives with you. Book an appointment now!