A psychiatric unit offering treatment and residential care to patients after working hours. In most cases the patients reside at the hospital, but they may also live in the community and come to the hospital in the evenings for psychotherapy and supportive activities such as recreational or occupational therapy.The night care program offers a number of advantages. Basically its function is to provide help without interrupting employment or other daytime responsibilities. It is particularly well suited to patients who are in the process of recovery and who would benefit from a gradual transition from hospital life to community life. Many of these patients can be released sooner than usual from full hospitalization since they will still receive therapeutic support even after they have begun to work. In addition, the opportunity to receive night care often encourages disturbed individuals to apply for the help they need, since they do not have to reveal to their employers that they are receiving treatment. Finally, the night operation makes fuller and more economic use of hospital facilities, and also provides an overnight service for psychiatric emergencies.