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Outpatient mental health treatment is a structured environment where clients receive mental health care during the day or in the evening, and they’re able to return home each night. There are three types of outpatient treatment:
- Standard outpatient treatment: This involves one-on-one sessions with a therapist.
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP): This involves attending treatment several days a week for a few hours per day. During IOP, you’ll have different types of group sessions and individual counseling.
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP): This is another structured outpatient service similar to an IOP but more intense.
Learning about outpatient treatment and the benefits that it can have for an individual’s health and well-being is important for facilitating treatment entry and engagement.
Why Is Outpatient Mental Health Treatment Important?
All treatment options are essential for those struggling with their mental health. When thinking of mental health treatment, most people envision an inpatient setting or standard outpatient treatment. There are various types of therapy, which is helpful when an individual is searching for mental health care. This allows them to get their needs met.
Outpatient mental health treatments like IOP and PHP are ideal for someone who may have recently been in an inpatient program or need a more intensive form of care. These programs have structured schedules that can be beneficial to someone who is trying to get their life on track.
With traditional therapy, clients typically meet with a therapist once a week for 45 minutes to an hour. However, IOP and PHP treatments run for several hours a day. Both programs typically offer a variety of therapeutic techniques, such as group therapy, individual counseling, psychoeducational groups, and holistic healing modalities, such as yoga and meditation.
Outpatient mental health treatment is a good fit for you if you:
- Don’t require round-the-clock support
- Are comfortable in a group setting
- Motivated to participate
- Open to expressing your thoughts and feelings
- Still need an intensive form of mental health care
- Can learn and apply new skills
What Are the Benefits of Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?
One of the benefits of outpatient mental health treatment is that it allows clients to receive comprehensive mental health care with minimal disruption to their daily life. During this form of treatment, it’s crucial that clients have a healthy, stable living environment. Having the support of family is an important part of recovery.
Another benefit of outpatient treatment is that it’s less expensive compared to inpatient. Some individuals don’t seek help because they can’t afford it. Outpatient treatment is often more accessible, and many programs are covered by insurance.
Next, during an outpatient program, clients learn a variety of new skills. These skills prepare them to learn how to manage their mental health condition. They’ll also be equipped with the tools needed to handle all of life’s stressors.
Lastly, peer support is another great benefit of outpatient mental health treatment. The group sessions give clients a chance to connect with those dealing with similar issues, which can help them feel more understood.
How to Know if It’s Time to Seek Help
The first step to seeking help is realizing and accepting that there is a problem. Living with a mental health disorder can be a debilitating experience that can rob an individual of living a fulfilling life. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that about 59.2 million people in the United States live with a mental health condition. However, many people never receive treatment.
Some reasons a person may not seek treatment include:
- Financial barriers
- Fear of judgment
- Lack of mental health professionals
Fortunately, mental health care is becoming more accessible. Choosing to get help is a courageous decision.
Your Symptoms Are Affecting Your Quality of Life
One sign that it’s time to seek treatment is that your mental health is negatively affecting your quality of life. If you find it difficult to function or complete daily tasks, you may benefit from treatment. Outpatient treatment can help you regain a sense of normalcy. Having support from a team of mental health professionals, as well as peer support, can assist you in becoming a healthier you.
Your Coping Skills Are Problematic
Another sign that you may need help is that your coping skills are unhealthy. Everyone finds a way to cope with life’s challenges, whether or not the coping methods are healthy. When you’re struggling with your mental health, it may feel easier to turn to destructive coping mechanisms. Mental health treatment can help you develop healthy coping skills.
If you’ve experienced trauma, outpatient mental health treatment can help you process and work through what happened to you. Trying to heal from trauma alone is tough. A trauma-informed professional will work with you to teach you how to cope with what you experienced.
There are many reasons people choose to pursue therapy. If you’re battling with your mental health, know that there are mental health providers who can help you heal.
Choosing to seek mental health care is never an easy decision. With so many options available, it can be difficult finding one that meets your needs. Outpatient mental health treatment is a good fit if you need mental health care that’s less intense than inpatient but still offers a similar level of support. Here at Alter Wellness Care, we offer both an intensive outpatient program and a partial hospitalization program. Our programs are made up of various healing modalities, like group sessions and holistic healing activities. We ensure our environment is welcoming so that you feel at home while receiving care. Our team of mental health professionals is ready to help you. To learn more, call (866) 311-3510.