Visitor Information

Visitor Information
Big Spring State Hospital recognizes the therapeutic value of involving family members and loved ones in the treatment of and rehabilitation of our patients. We strongly believe that contact with and the support of loved ones enhances our patient's hospitalization and the treatment of his or her. We view families and significant others as integral components of the treatment process, not as the cause of mental illness. We also are dedicated to providing basic family education concerning mental illness and information on how families can positively influence the life of the individual with mental illness.

Visiting Hours
Visiting hours must be exercised to minimize the interruption of the patient's scheduled treatment. Visiting hours are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visiting hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Patient visitation on the IOS Unit will be time-limited and will require staff supervision.

Visitors Policy
Patients have the right to receive visitors unless a physician determines it is not in the best interest of the patient. Patients also have the right to refuse visitors. If patients refuse visitors, an explanation will be given to the visitor or visitors. Visitors on the patient’s restriction list are not allowed on campus.

Visitation will be carefully monitored and limited if patients are on medical precautions. Hospital personnel will advise visitors of any special precautions.

Guidelines have been established and must be adhered to for patient privacy, the safety of our patients, employees and visitors and to allow the hospital to function and provide the best treatment for our patients.

Visitors are expected to honor any directions given by staff during visitation.

No more than three visitors per patient are allowed at one time. Former patients may visit with the expressed permission of the person with whom they want to visit.

If you have a guardian, your visitors must be approved by your guardian.

Visitors Guidelines
Visitors are required to register at the Information Desk, located in the Information and Admissions Center to receive a visitor's pass. Upon arrival at the Admissions building, visitors will be required to:

  • Tell the receptionist the name of the patient with whom he or she wishes to visit.
  • Adult visitors must show positive identification, including a photo ID or driver’s license.
  • Visitors will be directed to park vehicles at the Admissions building parking lot after registering with the receptionist. Security personnel will transport visitors to the visitation area.
  • Visitors may bring food or drinks if allowed by patient’s attending clinician or physician on duty. Aluminum cans are not allowed on campus.
  • Visitors must show all items intended for patient delivery. Any items not allowed will be left in the visitor’s secured vehicle.
  • Visitors must leave purses or other satchels or containers inside their vehicle. Pocket knives and lighters must be left in the vehicle.
  • Visitors will alert staff when they are ready to leave the patient unit. Security personnel will transport visitors from the visitation area to the Admissions building parking area.

Children Visiting
The hospital encourages children accompanied by a responsible adult to visit the hospital during visiting hours; however, children must be at least 14 years old and must remain under a parent's control and supervision at all times.

Overnight Visitation
The Don and Marilyn Newsom Family Lodge is an on-campus facility designed for the overnight use of families and significant others visiting Big Spring State Hospital.

The Family Lodge is available upon request from the Social Work Services Department. The patient's social worker will inform family members of its availability and present them with a full set of guidelines for use of the Family Lodge.

Check-in time is 2 p.m. or later at the Admissions Building Information Desk, where visitors will pick up a pass, information packet and lodge key. Checkout time is no later than 10 a.m. the following day. No more than three people may occupy a suite. Occupancy of more than one suite per family is subject to availability of suites. The kitchen is available for light meal preparation only. Arrangements can be made to eat in the central dining room through the treatment team social worker. The lodge will be provided with fresh bed linens. General cleaning or "maid" services are not offered.

The Family Lodge is dedicated to the memory of Don and Marilyn Newsom, who were longtime, devoted volunteers of Big Spring State Hospital. She served on the Public Responsibility Committee, was the originator and chair of the annual fund-raising dance and was appointed Big Spring State Hospital's first legislative chairman during her involvement with the hospital from 1976 to 1992. Don Newsom received the State Star of Texas Award for being one of the most active volunteers in the State of Texas. Furnishings for the Family Lodge are provided by the Newsom family and volunteers contribute items to assist in its upkeep.

Vehicle Safety

  • Speed limits are clearly posted and are strictly enforced.
  • Lock vehicles when unattended.
  • Turn off engine when vehicle is unoccupied.
  • Children may not be left unattended in a vehicle.
  • Pets may not be left in a closed vehicle.


  • All patient information is confidential.
  • As a visitor, you must never talk about or release a patient's name to anyone.
  • Hospital employees may not release patient information without consent. Please have the patient you are visiting request a consent form from nursing personnel if clinical information is requested.

Big Spring State Hospital is a tobacco-free campus and visitors are asked to abide by the policy and refrain from using tobacco products.

General Safety and Well-Being

  • No weapons/firearms are allowed on State property including unsecured long guns on racks.
  • Law officers must secure weapons while on campus.
  • Tools and other potentially dangerous items in the beds of pick-ups must be secured prior to leaving the vehicle.
  • No alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs are allowed on state property.
  • Any visitor under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be asked to leave campus.
  • All visitors must follow instructions given by Hospital Security or nursing personnel at all times.
  • Never take anything from or give anything to a patient without staff knowledge. No pets of any kind are allowed in any patient areas.


  • Report emergencies to any staff member or call 7211 from any hospital phone or 268-7211 from a pay phone.
  • If a patient appears to be in distress, seek assistance from a hospital staff member or by calling 7211 from any hospital phone or 268-7211 from a pay phone.
  • During any emergency situation, please follow the instructions of hospital personnel.

Satisfaction and Concerns
Complaints regarding patient treatment that requires immediate attention may be brought to the attention of any staff member who can assist you in contacting a nurse supervisor or hospital administrator.

Reception desk staff will assist you in contacting the appropriate office if you have concerns about patient rights, clinical treatment or other issues.

How to arrange a tour of Big Spring State Hospital
Big Spring State Hospital welcomes tour groups to our campus. Tours can be geared toward a certain group's interests, including nursing students, medical professionals, civic groups, community organizations and high school groups.

To arrange a tour, please contact:
Valerie Avery, Big Spring State Hospital Public Information Coordinator
(432) 816-9257

Last updated April 8, 2011