Mental health refers to an individual’s well-being regarding their psychological and emotional state. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act. An individual’s mental health is fluid, meaning that it can change. Stressors, milestones, unhealthy lifestyles, and past trauma affect our mental health. Depending on the individual and the extent of the stressors, mental health can downfall, potentially resulting in a mental health disorder. Mental health disorders include mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia disorders, and more. It is important to note that mental health disorders do not always result from a negative stressor but often occur from genetics. Individuals can develop a mental health disorder if they have a positive family history, regardless of the absence or presence of underlying stressors. Mental health disorders are treatable with the right combination of behavior and medications. The treatment level of care and setting is also important, and the treatment setting is usually based on the following:
● Insurance coverage
● The severity of mental health disorder
● Individual’s social support system
● Presence of co-occurring substance use disorder
Community-based treatment programs
Community-based mental health treatment programs are generally outpatient treatment programs located in the community that are run by non-profit groups or local government grant-based programs such as county programs. It is generally a cost-effective, less invasive approach to mental health treatment that usually offers group and individual therapy. Some community-based treatment centers may offer medication, depending on which type of providers they have. In addition, these programs usually offer social programs that include vocational training, help with employment, and access to social community services such as food stamps and childcare.
Professional treatment programs
Professional treatment programs are generally supervised in private mental health treatment centers. In addition, community and state mental health hospitals provide treatment for mental health disorders; however, these hospitals are not as common as private treatment centers.
Levels of Care
Residential treatment programs are considered a high level of care because they provide around-the-clock monitoring in a supervised, home setting. The individual receives behavioral therapy and medication management in the comfort of a temporary residence. Treatment is highly structured with multiple daily therapy sessions, and medications are administered under supervised care.
Residential vs. inpatient treatment
Inpatient and residential treatment are high levels of care that are often used interchangeably. Although they do have some similarities, they both serve very different purposes. Residential treatment involves daily living in a designated community housing facility, and the focus is on treating the overall individual by providing behavioral therapy and medication management.
Inpatient treatment refers to a medically managed level of care, including the services of doctors and nurses, most commonly in a hospitalized setting to treat severe medical and psychological problems; counseling is available, but the goal is medical stabilization.
Partial hospitalization is mid-level care because it takes place in an outpatient setting but involves structured therapy 3-5 days a week, for multiple hours a day. It is considered a step down from residential treatment because the client can return to the comfort of their own home after treatment, but it is more intense than outpatient care because of the therapy hour requirement.
Intensive outpatient treatment
Intensive outpatient treatment is a true outpatient level of care that requires approximately 10 hours of treatment each week over 3-4 days per week, allowing the client to attend to their daily lives, school, and/or work. Most clients enter intensive outpatient treatment after completing a higher level of care.
Regular outpatient treatment is the lowest level of care and is generally recommended for individuals with a strong support system who have completed a higher level of care. This is often part of maintenance therapy, meaning that individuals may attend outpatient care weekly or bi-monthly to ensure minimal signs and symptoms and treatment approaches are working.
Online resources for mental health services
Mental Health First-Aid offers a directory of online resources and hotlines for individuals struggling with a mental health disorder. Online resources are usually the first step to seeking help on the mental health treatment roadmap. However, it is important to note that once an individual feels they need help, seeking professional mental health treatment at a licensed, credentialed, and trusted treatment center is highly recommended.
Types of behavioral therapy
In general, mental health disorders are treated with multiple behavioral therapy approaches. Some mental health disorders are also treated with medications combined with therapy; depending on their severity, others can also be treated with this combination. However, behavioral therapy is always the foundation of long-term mental health treatment. Below are a few common behavioral therapy approaches that are used for mental health treatment:
● Interpersonal therapy
● Cognitive-behavioral therapy
● Dialectical behavioral therapy
● Motivational interviewing
Goals of mental health treatment services
● The goals of mental health treatment services, regardless of the level of care or type of treatment service, should include the following:
● Provides a safe and structured treatment environment
● Implements therapeutic interventions aimed at helping clients live a successful and happy life
● Provides coping tools to help individuals overcome obstacles and live symptoms-free or with minimal symptoms
● Provides behavioral therapy and medications to help manage symptoms
● Teach individuals how to think, behave, interact and make decisions in a healthy manner
● Learn new ways of interacting with other individuals
● Learn essential life skills such as personal finances and employment skills
Seeking mental health services at AKUA Mind and Body.
AKUA Mind and Body provides multiple levels of care for adult males and females struggling with a mental health disorder, a substance abuse disorder, or a co-occurring disorder. The AKUA Mind and Body treatment team offer clinical excellence and compassion while integrating evidence-based western medicine with eastern holistic approaches. In addition, we provide individualized treatment plans to cater to each client’s unique needs to pave the road for a successful recovery. AKUA offers state-of-the-art treatment for various mental health and addiction disorders, from detoxification and residential treatment to partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient therapy.