Haverhill

What is outpatient mental health treatment?

mental health treatment
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If you know someone who struggles with mental health issues, it is time to consider treatment options. For some people, the word “treatment” raises an image of sealed facilities where visiting hours are firmly regulated. While this type of treatment exists for many patients, a less-restrictive therapeutic environment can be more beneficial. Outpatient mental health offers the same quality of treatment as inpatient treatments, but there is more freedom and flexibility in outpatient mental health treatment.

Outpatient mental health treatment relates to a non-residential setting in which the patient spends controlled time in treatment during the day and returns home each night. People who choose to take part in outpatient mental health treatment do so for several reasons. They may have young children at home and cannot be away from their homes living in a residential facility. They may be transitioning out of an inpatient program, but still require the support and structure outpatient treatment delivers. Outpatient treatment is beneficial for those with mild symptoms and has a strong support system at home, making the intensity of in-patient treatment unnecessary.

Services available in Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

There is a variety of mental health services available, including:

How does Outpatient Mental Health treatment work?

In outpatient treatment, patients learn to manage stress and their mental health. The scope of treatment ranges from short-term mental health treatment to long-term campaigns. Though one person may accomplish their mental health goals in an hour or two of mental health treatment per month, another person may require more intensive support and care. Outpatient services can be personalized to provide each patient with the exact treatment plan to meet their needs.

Kinds of outpatient mental health programs

Outpatient mental health treatment is not one size fits all. Most mental health programs involve some combination of individual therapy, family therapy, medication, and aftercare. Treatment plans are modified to meet the specific needs of each individual. 

There are three important types of outpatient programs, each with varying stages of structure. It is important to determine which type of outpatient treatment will be most beneficial to the patient. 

1. Standard outpatient treatment

Standard outpatient treatment involves regular visits to the clinic, treatment center, or hospital, according to the patient’s personalized care plan. Therapy sessions are programmed around the patient’s work, school, and household tasks.  Treatment may be weekly or more often and may continue for a year or more. 

2. Intensive outpatient programs 

Intensive outpatient programs involve two to three hours of treatment for up to four days per week. These programs are designed to offer more intensive support and care than standard outpatient programs while still allowing patients the time and flexibility to tend to outside responsibilities. The period of an IOP can be anywhere from a few weeks to a year – eighty days is usually the suggested minimum period.

3. Partial hospitalization programs

Partial hospitalization programs involve seven or more hours of treatment per day, for up to six days per week. Highly structured and managed, they deliver the most intensive level of non-residential care and are often valuable for patients reintegrating into their lives after an inpatient break. Partial programs typically last around twenty-nine days before the patient transitions to a more flexible level of care. 

With a focus on handling symptoms, identifying causes, overcoming fears, and establishing healthy norms, outpatient health treatment aims to help patients learn to prosper outside the therapeutic environment.   

Outpatient mental health treatment benefits

For people with mild symptoms, solid support systems, and the ability to function independently, Outpatient treatment is usually an ideal choice. Patients can:

Conclusion

Outpatient mental health treatment provides a less-restrictive therapeutic environment. It offers the same quality of treatment as inpatient treatments. There is more freedom and flexibility in outpatient mental health treatment. People who choose to take part in outpatient mental health treatment do so for several reasons. Patients may be transitioning out of an inpatient program, but still need the support and structure outpatient treatment delivers. Outpatient treatment is beneficial for those with mild symptoms who have a strong support system at home.

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