Skip to main content

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Mental Health

What is Outpatient Mental Health?

Outpatient mental health care is a type of treatment that is provided to patients who are living at home, who are not admitted to a mental health facility, generally by visiting a therapist. 

Outpatient mental health care is best suited for patients with mild to moderate mental illness and represents the vast majority of mental health care. Outpatient mental health care can provide many benefits, including: 

  • Flexible scheduling around your schedule
  • Private, individualized care
  • Generally more affordable than inpatient mental health care
  • Ability to maintain your daily work/home life
  • Time between sessions to practice skills and strategies discussed in therapy
  • Help with medication management

Outpatient mental health care can include individual therapy, psychodynamic therapy treatment, group therapy, medication management, case management, and newer treatments like TMS treatment and Spravato. Outpatient mental health care can help patients recover from mental illness and improve their quality of life.

What is Inpatient Mental Health?

Inpatient mental health care is a type of treatment in which people with mental health conditions are hospitalized and treated in a facility. Inpatient mental health care is best suited for people with severe mental health conditions, those who pose a danger to themselves or others, or those who need around-the-clock monitoring and care. Inpatient mental health care can provide many benefits, including:

  • 24/7 care, monitoring, and support
  • A safe environment where patients are less likely to hurt themselves or others 
  • Rapid changes to psychiatric medications 
  • Intensive treatment programs
  • Separation from the people or environments that make symptoms worse

Inpatient mental health care can also help people to develop healthy coping skills and to learn how to manage their illnesses in a more successful way. As previously mentioned, inpatient care is typically used for cases of mental health issues, such as severe bipolar disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or for those also in need of treatment for substance abuse.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Mental Health: What’s Right for Me?

Deciding whether inpatient or outpatient mental health care is the best choice for you can be a difficult decision. There are many factors to consider, such as your personal needs, flexibility, and your specific situation. However, there are some basic guidelines to help you along in making the decision:

  • In general, inpatient mental health care may be the best choice if you need intensive treatment that cannot be provided on an outpatient basis 
  • Outpatient mental health care is a better choice if you are able to function safely at home. 

Remember: the decision of which type of care is right for you should be made under the guidance of your provider at Geode. They will evaluate your symptoms and help you determine if an inpatient or outpatient treatment plan is best for your circumstances and condition.

Get Professional Mental Health Care at Geode Health

If you or a loved one are in need of treatment for a mental health condition, find a practice near you by viewing all of our Geode Health locations. Alternatively, if you’re ready to start, simply book an appointment online today. We look forward to providing the mental health services you need.