Things to Consider When Choosing a Mental Health Treatment Facility

Are you trying to find a mental health treatment facility for a family member, but aren’t sure which one to choose?

Choosing the right treatment facility can be extremely difficult, as there are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration. Luckily, if you know what to look for, choosing the right facility will become a lot easier. 

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Check out this guide to learn how to choose the right mental health treatment facility for your loved one.

Understand the Different Types of Treatment Centers 

In order to choose the right mental health facility, you first need to understand the different types of treatment centers available to you. Here are some of your options:

Inpatient Hospital 

A hospital inpatient setting involves an overnight stay or an extended stay in either a psychiatric hospital or the psychiatric unit of a hospital. 

These hospitals are either government-operated or privately owned. Typically, inpatient hospitals offer treatment to severely mentally ill patients for 30 days or less. Some patients admitted are in the acute phase of their mental illness, while others need help around the clock. 

If a patient still needs intensive care after their hospital stay, they’ll typically be transported to some other type of long-term care facility. 

Psychiatric Hospitals 

These facilities exclusively treat patients who are suffering from mental illness. However, physicians are available to address other medical conditions that may arise. 

Some psychiatric hospitals also provide drug and alcohol detox and rehabilitation services. Some psychiatric hospitals also have specialty units for geriatric care, eating disorders, child and adolescent services, and drugs and alcohol services. 

Residential Mental Health Treatment Center 

This type of facility provides long-term care for mentally ill individuals. These facilities also offer medical care, but they’re designed to be less like a hospital and more like a comfortable living environment. 

There are different types of residential mental health treatment centers, and the one you choose for your loved one will depend on their individual needs. If your loved one is suffering from a chronic psychiatric disorder, such as schizophrenia or bipolar, then a psychiatric residential center will be best for them. 

But, if they’re suffering from addiction as well as issues with their mental health, then an inpatient rehab center will likely be best for them. If your loved one would like to still carry on working, then you might want to set them up with an outpatient center. 

With outpatient centers, patients come in for a few hours or so every weekday, but they don’t stay overnight.

Look for Evidence-Based Treatment 

In recent decades, we have made huge strides in mental health research and awareness. While there may not be a cure for mental illness, there are a variety of treatment options available to help patients manage their symptoms and overcome their illness. 

But, while there are a lot of effective treatments out there, you still need to make sure you’re choosing the right treatments. When searching for treatment centers, look for ones that tell you the exact types of therapies they use, how these therapies benefit their patients, and what scientific evidence is available to prove the effectiveness of these therapies. 

Types of mental health therapies that have been proven to be effective include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Existential therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Counseling/talk therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy

These therapies can help treat everything from depression to anxiety to PTSD and more. When speaking with facilities, make sure you discuss the mental illness your loved one suffers from. While the facility won’t be able to give you a detailed treatment plan right away, they should be able to tell you about the therapies they offer and which ones will specifically benefit your loved one.

Intake Assessment and Individualized Treatment Plans 

You never want to choose a mental health facility that treats your loved one like they’re just another patient. Everybody is different, especially when it comes to their mental health needs. 

Look for a facility with an extensive, thorough intake process. This process should include a full assessment of their mental illness as well as an assessment of their substance abuse disorders. Before a treatment plan is made, your loved one should receive a complete differential diagnosis. 

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment plan for mental illness. Even though there are certain therapies that have proven to be more effective than others, this doesn’t mean that these therapies will automatically work for your loved one. 

The treatment plan should reflect your loved one’s mental illness, physical health, background, and preferences. 

You also want to make sure you choose a facility that makes patient safety a priority. Mental illness can sometimes cause people to act in a violent manner, so make sure the facility has safety protocols in place and that they keep sharp objects away from patients and use anti ligature door hinges.

Mental health treatment can be very expensive, so make sure to choose a facility that is covered by your insurance. Even with insurance, 50% of Americans say they can’t afford mental health treatment. 

Luckily, there are other ways to pay for mental health treatment if your insurance doesn’t cover everything. There are nonprofits that offer mental health services, and there’s also government assistance for mental health. Some people also take advantage of online fundraising, university mental health services, and sliding scale therapists. 

Are You Ready to Choose a Mental Health Treatment Facility? 

Now that you’ve read this guide, it’s time for you to choose a mental health treatment facility. Pretty soon, your loved one will be getting the help they need. 

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips on how to take care of your mental health. 

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