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Winnebago Mental Health Institute: Information for Visitors

Family, friends, and others members of a patient's support team are welcome to visit Winnebago Mental Health Institute (WMHI). This page has important details to know before you visit.

Get driving directions to WMHI

Who can visit

Each WMHI patient can have up to two visitors at one time. Visitors must:

  • Be at least 12 years old. Kids under 12 may be allowed to visit if the treatment team approves before the visit. Contact the assigned social worker to make a request.
  • Be with an adult if they are under age 18.

Visiting hours

Gordon Hall units (Gemini, Gordon Hall South, FBTU, Choices)
Daily: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sherman Hall units (Sherman Hall South, Sherman Hall North, Youth Services Unit)
Adults: Monday-Friday: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. | Weekends/holidays: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Youth/children: Monday-Friday 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Weekends/holidays: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Petersik Hall units
South:  5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
North:  6 p.m. to 7 p.m..

Scheduling a visit

  • Call the patient's unit at least one day prior to the date of the visit.
  • Inform staff of the date you would like to visit and the names of the visitors.

Please arrive at least five minutes before your visit time. All visitors will be escorted to the visiting area together. Late arrivals may be turned away. 

What you can and cannot bring to visits

Visitors can bring some items with them during a visit. Other items are not allowed. Staff check all items before they give them to a patient.

Items you can bring

Visitors can bring items for the patient, as long as they aren't unapproved items.

  • Factory sealed, pre-packaged food. Patients can eat this in their unit. You cannot bring food from a restaurant.
  • Unopened drinks in plastic bottles. Patients can have the drink in their unit. 

There is no eating or drinking in the visiting area. 

Items you cannot bring

These items are not allowed at visits:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Alcohol
  • Aluminum cans
  • Animals or pets, except service animals
  • Balloons
  • Belts
  • Cameras
  • Ceramics, such as mugs
  • Chemical control agents, such as pepper spray
  • Drugs, both illegal and prescription
  • Glass
  • Glasses cases (hard)
  • Hair dye
  • Hand or power tools
  • Jewelry
  • Knives or blades
  • Loose tea
  • Matches or lighters
  • Nail files that are pointed or metal
  • Office supplies with metal, such as a spiral notebook
  • Paper, books, or magazines in large amounts
  • Plants or flowers
  • Plastic bags, including shopping bags or ones that can seal
  • Recording devices
  • Sexually explicit material
  • Scissors
  • Tape, such as duct tape
  • Tobacco, tobacco products, or e-cigarettes
  • Weapons

What to do when you arrive for a visit

These are the steps to follow when you come to WMHI for a visit:

Leave these items in your car:

  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Baby seats, carriers, or strollers
  • Backpacks
  • Cell phones or other electronic devices
  • Purses
  • Tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, lighters, and matches

Check in. Staff will:

  • Ask you to show a photo ID.
  • Ask you to sign the visitor’s log.
  • Issue you a visitor sticker. Wear this during your visit.
  • Issue you a face mask to wear during your visit.
  • Inspect any items you brought for the patient.

Put any items you brought that aren’t allowed in the visitation area (and that you didn’t leave in your car) in a locker. This includes your coat or jacket.

Go to the visitation area. Once you start your visit, you cannot leave the area and return to the visit.

When you visit, remember:

  • WMHI is smoke and tobacco-free. No one is allowed to use tobacco products on our grounds. This includes in parked cars.
  • Visitors are not allowed to have weapons in any WMHI building or secure outdoor area. Weapons include:
    • Batons.
    • Firearms.
    • Knives.
    • Pepper spray or other chemicals.
    • Stun guns or tasers.
    • Other items designed to subdue a person.
  • WMHI is not at fault for items lost or stolen during visiting hours.


Last revised February 3, 2024