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  • Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Mental Health Treatment | What’s The Difference?

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    Residential Mental Health Program-Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Mental Health Treatment | What's The Difference?

    If you or a loved one are searching for mental health services, consider inpatient or outpatient treatment at a mental health facility. 

    With inpatient treatment, you participate in an overnight mental health treatment program while outpatient treatment requires treatment at the facility as well as outside support from home and family members.

    Ultimately, a mental health professional may assist you in determining whether inpatient vs. outpatient care is right for you.

    Differences Between Inpatient & Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

    One of the primary differences between inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment is that residential treatment provides you with 24/7 support and access to a safe and structured environment, medications, and professionals who can help manage your mental health condition. 

    With outpatient treatment, you must visit the facility at various times during the week and may also need support from home or outside of the treatment center.

    When Is Inpatient Care Necessary?

    If a person intends to self-harm or hurt others, an inpatient treatment facility is necessary. Certain mental health conditions may require you to remain on-site as a resident.

    With an inpatient program, you will wake up at the treatment center each day and take part in a care plan provided by a medical professional. 

    Which Is More Expensive?

    Because you are provided a bed and constant monitoring, the price of inpatient treatment may be more costly than outpatient options.

    Despite this, there may be financial options for you to consider. While inpatient and outpatient care plans may be different, there are also some similarities.

    Similarities Between Inpatient & Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

    Inpatient and outpatient care both provide opportunities for short-term or long-term treatment. Also, both types of treatment programs offer therapy ranging from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to group therapy and medication-assisted treatment.

    Other similarities between inpatient and outpatient options consist of similar treatment plans which can involve detox, the use of medications, and peer support groups.

    Which Mental Health Disorders Are Appropriate For Inpatient Or Outpatient Care?

    Outpatient programs are for mild mental health conditions and inpatient care may be more appropriate for severe conditions. For instance, those with an eating disorder or bipolar disorder may need to be monitored during an inpatient stay.

    Additionally, those suffering from severe or multiple mental health issues or co-occurring disorders such as a substance use disorder and mental health disorder require necessary types of treatment in an inpatient setting.

    Those suffering from a substance abuse disorder and mental health disorder may rely on extensive treatment provided by inpatient care. 

    Participating in mental health and addiction treatment programs is an important step in the recovery process, regardless of the type of care you receive.

    Inpatient Treatment Services

    The benefits of inpatient care may consist of:

    • a consistent schedule in a peaceful environment
    • safe housing for intensive treatment
    • less interference from outside stressors such as work or school
    • relief from the demands of daily life
    • a more hands-on approach to tackling your mental health disorder
    • around-the-clock support
    • educational treatment programs including various forms of psychotherapy
    • detox for those also struggling with a substance use disorder

    Outpatient Treatment Services

    Some of the treatment services and levels of care provided by outpatient treatment include:

    • outpatient treatment programs such as an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and a partial hospitalization program (PHP)
    • aftercare services provided to you once an inpatient treatment plan has been completed
    • access to community resources such as support groups
    • recovery services provided by telehealth options
    • tailored stress management skills
    • family counseling

    For those of you seeking treatment, consider Ark Behavioral Health. We provide a wide range of inpatient and outpatient treatment options for those struggling with mental illness or substance use problems.

    Contact us today to speak with one of our team members who can assist you in finding the type of medical care best suited for your condition.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
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