Mental Health Treatment Options: Inpatient Versus Outpatient Treatment

For mental health patients, finding the right treatment plan is critical. But with so many options, choosing the best plan can be a challenge. Care is often divided into two categories: Inpatient and outpatient treatment. Both have benefits and drawbacks, but which one is best for you or a loved one?

Inpatient Care: Who is it for?

Inpatient treatment requires patients to check themselves into a mental health facility to be in the direct care of medical professionals for round-the-clock medical and emotional support. This is important for a patient who is in danger of harming themselves or others has a history of relapse, or whose living situation triggers them.

A consultation with a mental health professional is needed to determine if a patient needs a higher level of support and care that comes with inpatient treatment. In some cases, this is required as a starting point for issues like substance abuse, patients with self-harm risk, and in cases where repeated outpatient care has been unproductive. Other times it can be a matter of preference and can be decided based on personal factors.

While the higher level of care may be necessary in some cases, it is disruptive and requires a total commitment of anywhere between a week and several months. Inpatients are held to a strictly regimented schedule, waking up, eating, and performing activities at the same time each day. This support system attempts to remove stressors and provide a safe and controlled environment in which to grow and address problems.

Outpatient Care: Who is it for?

Outpatient care can involve one or more mental health services that don’t require a prolonged stay in a facility. Treatment provided in Outpatient care helps patients learn to cope with stressors and manage their mental health. These services can include counseling, group therapy, medical consultations, and psychiatry. Treatment can be anywhere from short-term counseling, to long-term care plans including therapy and/or medication.

Outpatient CareOutpatient care is the most common treatment for many mental health problems due to its lower cost, better flexibility to patients needs and schedules, and a larger selection of providers. Outpatient care should only be applied when constant support is unnecessary and it is healthier for the patient to remain in their environment to experience stressors and learn to cope with professional guidance. This approach is often the best course of action for patients with problems like eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.

For patients dealing with substance abuse, both inpatient and outpatient treatment plans are an option. The best choice depends on factors like mental health history, relapse history, and commitment to change. For any cases where the health or safety of the patient or those close to them is in question, inpatient care is likely necessary.

For many who undergo inpatient treatment, a long-term outpatient treatment plan is an important part of maintaining healthy habits and learning how to cope with daily life.

Mental Health Services at Sunrise

Here at Sunrise Community Behavioral Health, we are committed to your mental health and believe in offering the highest quality outpatient services that are focused on each individual’s unique needs to help our clients move toward wellness and true recovery.

We offer services that employ a holistic, responsive, and innovative approach to providing community and in-home supports. With nearly 40 years of experience in providing support for people with behavioral health diagnoses, Sunrise can help you find long-lasting solutions.

If you believe that an outpatient solution is best for you or a loved one, or need a consultation to help determine the best path, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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