DSH - Atascadero: Family and Friend Resources

Telephone for Patient Use:

Patients may use the public telephone on the unit where they live to make outgoing phone calls. A patient may also receive incoming calls on his unit if he or another patient is available to answer the public telephone between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Effective January 19, 2018, the patient telephones at the Department of State Hospitals– Atascadero will no longer be able to process collect calls.  A prepaid account will need to be set up by a family member and/or friend outside of the facility for each number the patient would like to call. Prepaid accounts will allow patients’ family members and/or friends to establish an account and place money on it. Once accounts are set up, patients can place calls to the phone number associated with the account as usual and the prepaid account will be billed at .50 cents per minute during the call.

To set up a prepaid calling service for a specific phone number go to https://www.prepaidinmate.com/prepaid/ or call 1-866-898-5880.

Incoming phone calls will not be effected by this change.

Telecommunications (805) 468-2000

If you are unable to reach a patient by phone, contact Telecommunications. Ask the operator to leave a message with the patient's social worker to call you.

Mail or Packages

How to send funds to a patient's account:

Personal checks or money orders should be mailed directly to patients’ accounts for deposit and will be made payable to: Department of State Hospitals - Atascadero for ‘patient name.’  For example, this can also be abbreviated as “DSH - Atascadero for John Doe.”  The sender’s name and address will also need to be included with all checks or money orders.  Cash and/or travelers checks shall not be accepted in the mail. They will be returned to sender at the return address listed on the original envelope.  The address to mail funds to be applied to a patient’s account is:
Patients’ Accounts
Department of State Hospitals - Atascadero
P.O. Box 7001
Atascadero, CA 93423-7001

How to send mail to a patient

To write a patient, the address is:
PATIENT NAME (include AT# and Unit# if known)
P.O. BOX 7001

Information to Family and Friends

This information is designed to answer basic questions for families and friends in order to support and communicate with the patients housed in our facility. The involvement of family and friends is encouraged in the Wellness and Recovery Treatment planning process for our patient population. For more information, please visit Information to Family and Friends – (English) or (Spanish) packets.

Incoming Packages:

DSH - Atascadero will only accept packages from approved vendors. You may request catalogs from the vendors as well as shop on their websites. Patient packages received from any sender other than those listed in the Acceptable Incoming Items List - (English) and (Spanish) cannot be accepted. Please remember that not all products advertised online or in the catalogs are allowed at DSH-Atascadero. Please check the "Acceptable Items List" before ordering.
All incoming packages must have the patient’s name and AT number. The unit number of the patient (if known) is helpful to further ensure proper and timely delivery.
The criteria below define a package as anything:
1. Greater than one half inch think or heavier than 16 ounces;
2. Identified by electronic scanning device as containing anything other than correspondence; or
3. Containing bubble wrap or additional packing material

Patients may not receive packages from private residences or from any non-approved vendor.

All incoming mail and packages will be opened and searched by the Department of Police Services. Cash and/or Traveler’s Checks are not allowed in patient mail or packages. All mail and packages must have a return address that includes first and last name of the sender and a physical street address.
Packages shall neither exceed 30 pounds in weight nor exceed the size limitations of 24" x 19" x 12". Packages exceeding the weight or size limitations will not be accepted by the hospital from the Post Office or shipping agent.

Acceptable and Forbidden Items:

For a list of Acceptable Items, see Acceptable Incoming Items - (English) and (Spanish). Prohibited Items shall not enter the secured areas of the hospital. Prohibited items include: wireless communication devices (including cell phones), memory storage devices, tobacco products and money. It is illegal to bring in any prohibited items--the California Welfare and Institution Code 4139 states that any person who attempts to introduce with intent to deliver prohibited items to a patient is a misdemeanor.