I've been to a psych. hospital for kids when I was about 10..and then when I was...11..12...It didn't help at all considering I went about three times then got sent to a group home when I was twelve...and again when I was fourteen.
My recent stay was when I was 17 on a psych. ward. I had been sleeping in my room while my Mom was at a meeting at my school. After an hour or so, she came home and said the Police and Paramedics were here and that the school wanted me to go to the hospital. It was so humiliating because my brother could hear from his room and one of the paramedics was an old buddy of his that knew me. I knew the other one as well because her daughter used to go to school with me. I had to take the ambulance to the hospital where I sat for hours waiting for a psychiatrist there to interview me then decide if I could go home. No luck since they called the psych. ward at a hospital an hour or two away to see if a bed was available and there was. They gave me the "choice" to check myself in voluntarily or be forced by the police. I just volunteered so my Mom could drive me there. I don't know the exact reason as to why I was sent there but think it was due to my truancy at school, severe depression (which I never realized I had at the time lol...).
The psych. ward was so...no helpful.
Adolescents have to go to school for two separate hours during the weekdays and all I learned was crap I already knew by 8th grade. The nurses and orderlies were just...god boring as crap. The whole unit I was on was shaped like a demented Y. Teens couldn't leave there hallway unless it was to get water or talk to a nurse. Nurses only came down our hallway when they did 15 minute safety checks and maybe occasionally to chit chat for five minutes, which was rare. You saw a psychiatrist once every week and that's about it. I did like that we had outdoor time in a fenced in area, recreation where we went to the rec. room to play pool, ping pong...play music in the little music closet, etc. and I forgot fitness...where we'd go in the fenced in area to play whiffle ball, kickball..or in the gym to work out or play some sort of indoor sport. If you were trusted, we'd go for a little walk around the hospital campus. I liked the guy that did fitness because he was so nice and outgoing. he was one of the only staff that took the time to talk to people and just act like a buddy instead of someone there to supervise us. There was also a couple nurses I liked because they were super friendly. One sat with me to play uno and talk when she had the time. Sometimes ( a couple times a week) we'd go to the library to use the computers...with actual internet that didn't block many sites like I thought they would!
Overall, it really wasn't helpful. I never got my medicine that my Doctor prescribed because the people on the psych. ward didn't think i needed it so I had to wait a week or two before they threw me on some random B.S. I had never felt so alone with so many people around me before in my life until then lol.
Adults though, I think they were lucky. Their annex (living area..tv..boardgames..) is right in front of the Nurses station so the staff often sat and chilled with them. They were talked to more instead of left in the dark
I guess it depends on who you are and what facility you're at. The one I was at was just..meh. I got diagnosed with non-verbal learning disorder and they tried to convince me I did not have bipolar despite my Doctor (who I had known for roughly 8+ years) diagnosing me when I was a kid. That was all based of this test they made new patients take that was like...100 or 200 questions long. It blew because if you didn't take it, they wouldn't let you leave or have visitors.
I would voluntarily check myself in again because now I am an Adult, so treatment would be better. I have to wait until I figure out how to pay though and what to say because they don't really let people voluntarily admit themselves unless they self-harm badly or tried to commit suicide.