In the field of mental health care, the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment choices can have a significant influence on one’s recovery path. Outpatient care gives flexibility and customized assistance, whereas inpatient treatment provides round-the-clock care in a controlled environment, making the choice between them critical in one’s route to rehabilitation.
Today, we’re going to discuss the two and how to choose between each treatment option.
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 treatment 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 programs 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 in a treatment facility. Inpatient mental health care is best suited for people with a severe mental health condition, those who pose a danger to themselves or others, or those who need around-the-clock monitoring and care. Inpatient treatment programs 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 mental health 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 substance abuse treatment.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Mental Health: What’s Right for Me?
Deciding whether inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment program 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 therapy may be the best choice if you need intensive mental health treatment that cannot be provided on an outpatient care basis
- An outpatient program is a better choice if you are able to function safely at home.
Remember: the decision of which type of care or treatment program 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 inpatient programs or outpatient treatment programs are 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.