Treatment options for mental health challenges comes in many forms, including outpatient care. A gradual step down from inpatient treatment, an outpatient program provides increased freedom and flexibility while still maintaining a rigorous course of care that can provide support and stability during a difficult time. During outpatient treatment, participants do not have to live in a residential setting and are permitted to attend therapy sessions and programming from home or outpatient housing.
At FHE Health, we are committed to helping the members of our community, no matter where they are on their personal journey. Our outpatient programs are intended to help those living with mental illness to manage side effects, receive a medical treatment plan and take strides toward a healthy, happy way of life.
What Is Outpatient Mental Health Treatment?
If you’re wondering, “What is outpatient mental health treatment?” you’ve come to the right place. Just as the first step in feeling better is admitting you have a problem, the next step is seeking help. So congratulations — just by learning more about the process of mental health treatment and how it can help you or your loved one, you’re already two steps in on a path toward healing and living a healthy, sober life.
Many studies have been conducted measuring the success of intensive outpatient therapy for mental health and addiction treatment. The research finds that partial hospitalization treatment and outpatient treatment can be comparable in their results, depending on the individual. Both levels of care have been shown to significantly help resolve mental health disorders, reduce substance abuse and improve participants’ personal health and social outcomes.
Outpatient therapy for mental health involves continuing your work with a therapist to assess your past, present and future to help you achieve the life you want. The benefits of having a trained professional as your advocate can’t be overstated. Through working one-on-one and in group sessions to learn strategies for coping without unhealthy substance abuse, you’ll find that the load you carry will get easier as your mind and body recover.
Choosing a Course of Care
Rehabilitation can be an important step for those living with mental health conditions, particularly for individuals who are unable to hold down a steady job, care for themselves or others, or maintain normal relationships due to the side effects of illness. While normally thought of as an option for substance abusers, long-term care for mental disorders can be highly beneficial in supporting the management of symptoms and mitigation of side effects.
At FHE Health, we provide two distinct courses of care for those seeking opportunities with us: inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient rehabilitation is often considered the first step, providing a structured and rigid environment that makes sure patients get the support and resources necessary to see immediate and lasting change. Ranging from several weeks to a month or more, inpatient treatment offers the stability necessary to build a foundation of healthy habits to carry forward.
Outpatient care is generally considered the next step in our continuum after the successful completion of inpatient rehabilitation. Once patients demonstrate that they are healthy and stable enough to move on from a residential facility, they are permitted to transition into outpatient care, a less regulated and monitored form of treatment. Our outpatient programs take several forms and allow participants to continue care utilizing a step-down approach to ensure ongoing progress.
It’s important to note that inpatient care isn’t necessarily the preferred step for everyone. Outpatient programming at FHE Health is intended to follow our inpatient opportunities but can stand alone for those who don’t feel comfortable leaving behind a family or other obligations to enter into long-term care. Further, our outpatient programs are an option for individuals who have already completed inpatient rehabilitation at other facilities and are looking for a comprehensive experience through which to continue treatment.
Outpatient Levels of Care
All outpatient services are not equal, and this includes the opportunities available at FHE Health. We offer several levels of outpatient care, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial hospitalization programs, also known as PHP, are a step down from inpatient treatment that combines the demanding nature of residential rehabilitation with an outpatient environment. Participants aren’t required to live in a particular place but do spend most of the day, often around 7 AM to 3 PM five days a week, engaged in recovery activities. This includes group sessions, medication management, and individual counseling to aid in ongoing dedication to good health.
It can be a challenge to balance a job, school or family obligations with a PHP, as rehabilitation takes up 25 to 30 hours a week. However, this is the point: Partial hospitalization is intended to be your first and, ideally, only priority during this stage in the treatment process. While easing back into normal life will come in time, PHP is a time to learn how to remain healthy and happy while not under the strict oversight provided by a residential program. Participants have the ability to see loved ones and operate with increased autonomy but are still held to a routine for a majority of the week.
Intensive Outpatient Programs
An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is a further step-down, adding increased freedoms to the opportunities provided by a PHP. Rather than spending all day engaged in programming, an IOP meets for around three hours a day for five days a week or five hours a day for three days a week, creating a reduced pressure on scheduling that allows for a little more flexibility in activities outside of recovery and treatment. In some cases, programs are available both in the morning and at night, allowing for time for school or employment if desired.
Intensive outpatient programs are a great way to blend consistent treatment with a re-entrance to regular life. While still demanding, an IOP aids participants in slowly taking steps toward normal living without moving too quickly or attempting to take on too much, too soon.
Sober Living in Outpatient Care
The term sober living can be off-putting for those working through mental illness as it implies addiction to an abusive substance, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A sober living house isn’t necessarily related explicitly to addiction; instead, it’s just a transitory destination for those who have completed a residential program but are not yet prepared to move back home or who do not live locally.
Sober living houses are frequently recommended to those in outpatient treatment to relieve the pressure that can accompany moving back to a destination that may have worsened mental health. In a sober living facility, residents are held to rules related to responsibilities within the home, curfews and monitoring that ensure good behavior and a more supportive approach to therapy. While less restrictive than an inpatient facility, sober living puts boundaries in place that can reduce the risk of relapse or a reversal in progress. Sober living houses aren’t right for everyone, but they can greatly aid in establishing independence without compromising the results of outpatient mental health care.
The Benefits of Our Campus
Outpatient programs at FHE Health come with one major advantage: our campus. As a comprehensive resource for recovery from both mental health and addiction, we’re able to offer a professional approach to care that guides those seeking rehabilitation through an entire continuum, from detox to alumni resources.
Those who attend outpatient rehabilitation through FHE have access to all the opportunities available on our campus. That includes medical resources, behavioral health programming, women’s health support, advanced diagnostics, holistic services like acupuncture and cognitive fitness, and spiritual guidance. As our property hosts a large patient population and numerous medical licensed professionals, we are able to provide a wonderful environment for those in pursuit of recovery.
We believe that the unique nature of our facility makes our outpatient programming a valuable opportunity for those at all stages of recovery, offering access to models of care that aren’t necessarily available anywhere else. Those on our campus also work in close proximity to our alumni community, which can provide insight into what lies ahead after successful outpatient program completion.
Benefits of Outpatient Mental Health Care
Outpatient mental health care is often a cheaper and more convenient choice when seeking rehabilitation from mental health disorders and co-existing substance abuse. You’ll still receive the important therapy and group sessions needed for recovery but will also have independence, live wherever you want to and hold a job. Outpatient care won’t require all your attention like inpatient hospitalization does, but it’ll keep you on the right path to taking care of yourself.
By participating in an outpatient mental health care program, you’ll continue to learn strategies to avoid triggers and work through the unresolved issues that led to poor mental health, unintended consequences and addiction. You’ll also have access to experts in mental health and addiction medication to help you manage your symptoms and avoid illegal drugs and alcohol that could end up making your symptoms worse.
At FHE Health, we realize that medical management can be a valuable part of working to stabilize mental health. The use of medications is encouraged for those who are in need of such care, and it’s our goal to support the use of medication to maintain mental wellness as long as necessary.
For those who began treatment with the use of medication during inpatient care, we’re able to continue routines that have already been established, whether they were with us or not. Our neuro-rehab services can continue to be used during our outpatient level of care, ensuring that support carries forward without interruption.
Seeking Help from FHE
Making the decision to get help for mental health issues isn’t easy. Many individuals are reluctant to admit a need for assistance to friends and family, while others believe there’s a way to improve alone in time. At FHE Health, we are committed to supporting our patients’ personal journeys to recovery in whatever form that may take. Whether an individual begins in our residential program or starts care with our outpatient treatment programs, we are able to offer the right opportunity for everyone.
If you or someone you love is considering treatment for mental health disorders, FHE Health provides dedicated care opportunities in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Please contact us today to learn more about our opportunities for mental health services and rehabilitation, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programming.