• Fort Lauderdale Wellness

What is the difference between inpatient and outpatient mental health services?


If you or somebody you know is struggling with mental illness, an inpatient or outpatient mental health services can provide a comprehensive level of care that is necessary to recover. Both these programs help the patient feel better and return to their usual self. Based on the severity and other needs of the patients' experts evaluate the best treatment option between inpatient and outpatient mental health services. To know more about the difference between inpatient and outpatient mental health services, you need to know about both types of treatment:


Inpatient Mental Health Services


It is the most intensive level of mental health treatment and is suggested for individuals suffering from addictive disorders and severe mental health disorders. It offers round the clock care in a secured and safe facility for the patients who require constant monitoring.


The environment at the inpatient mental health clinic is quite structured, and it emphasizes on the understanding the signs of illness and deciding on the strategies to avoid deterioration of the mental health condition. The patients are focused on recovery without any potential distraction.


The inpatient facility helps the patient rebuild the life skills without exposure to the negative influences that fuel the impulse to continue the negative behaviors. Often patients who fail to show positive effects of outpatient mental health services are referred to inpatient mental health services.


Outpatient Mental Health Services


The services offered at the outpatient mental health services are more or less the same as in the inpatient mental health services. The only difference is that outpatient health services are loosely structured. Here the patient can attend the treatment during the day and return to their friends and family in the evening for a more holistic approach. It means that the patient is not in a secure environment. Because of this freedom, the outpatient mental health services are ideal for people with mild mental illness symptoms or those at the early stages of addiction. Most outpatient mental health services clinic allows flexibility to choose the treatment time- daytime or evening hours keeping the professional and family commitments in mind. Also, outpatient treatment allows the patients to start building a positive support network in the community to stay motivated.


Several factors go into deciding the most appropriate treatment program for an individual with an addictive disorder or mental illness. What works for one individual might not yield results for the other patient. The professionals at the mental health clinic should assess each patient to determine the best level of care. Also, the patient needs to make an informed choice between inpatient and outpatient care. When deciding between the two options, the patients can ask these questions to themselves:


1. Will daily lifestyle trigger the temptation?

2. Will the stress at home or office hinder the treatment?

3. Will my social or professional ties influence me back into substance abuse?

4. Will I feel safe and secured in a structured environment and will it help me recover faster?

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