Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions each year. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 7.5 million adults received treatment for an existing mental illness in 2017.

If you’ve made the important decision to pursue mental health treatment, you’re not alone – but you may have some questions about what your experience in treatment will be like. While no two people will have the same treatment plan, learning as much as you can about the process beforehand can help you feel more comfortable when you arrive for your first day.

Different types of mental health treatment

Mental health treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on your individual symptoms, emotional state, and medical history, you may participate in one or more of the following treatment programs:

  • Inpatient mental health treatment

For those who struggle with severe psychiatric symptoms, or who pose a risk to themselves or others, inpatient treatment may be recommended. The goal of inpatient treatment is to provide a safe and structured environment with round-the-clock care, enabling patients to stabilize, manage their symptoms, and rebuild necessary coping skills.

  • Partial hospitalization program

In a partial hospitalization program (PHP), patients receive highly structured care during the daytime hours before returning home to be with friends and family in the evenings. A PHP is usually a stepping-stone from inpatient care to outpatient care.

  • Intensive outpatient program

Patients participating in an intensive outpatient program are generally able to maintain commitments to work, school, or family, while still receiving the support of a mental health treatment facility. Outpatient care allows individuals to apply the skills and strategies they’re learning in treatment right away, in their everyday lives.

A mental health professional will perform a detailed assessment of your current condition to determine which type of treatment is best for you.

Therapy: the cornerstone of mental health treatment

Whether you participate in inpatient or outpatient treatment, therapy will play a significant role in your recovery. Once your doctor establishes your individualized treatment plan, you’ll begin one or more of the following types of therapy:

  • Individual, group, and family psychotherapy

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Psychiatric evaluation and medication management

Different forms of therapy working together can help you to regulate your emotions, identify your triggers, establish coping mechanisms, manage stress, and prevent relapse. You’ll also learn how to replace bad habits with healthy behaviors, and practice communication skills to help improve your relationships.

A caring and supportive staff of mental health professionals

While you’re undergoing mental health treatment, a caring and supportive team will work to help you achieve stability and independence. Some of the people you may encounter while in treatment include:

  • Psychiatrists

  • Psychologists

  • Counselors and therapists

  • Social workers

  • Nurses

If you’re living in a residential inpatient treatment facility, you may also work with other staff members who help to plan meals, coordinate activities, and keep your surroundings comfortable.

Aftercare planning

When you’re ready to leave inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment, it’s important to have an aftercare plan in place. Aftercare can help you more easily reintegrate into daily life and prevent you from experiencing a relapse. Prior to ending your treatment, your mental health team can coordinate your aftercare plans, which may include some of the following:

  • Regular therapy appointments

  • Housing assistance

  • Job placement

  • Group counseling sessions

Get the mental health treatment you need at Alvarado Parkway Institute

If you’re ready to take the first step toward a stable, fulfilling life, Alvarado Parkway Institute can help. We offer inpatient mental health treatment, as well as a partial hospitalization program and intensive outpatient program. Our competent, caring staff members are there to support you from intake through aftercare, working with you to create a healthy, happy future.

For more information on our mental health services, call our 24-hour crisis line at (619) 667-6125.