Mental Health Treatment: Outpatient vs Inpatient

In the U.S., 24.7% of people reported that their treatment needs for mental health went unmet. Although suffering from poor mental health can make you feel isolated and alone, many people are going through the same thing. Many people get help and go on to live without the symptoms and setbacks their mental health causes. Choosing the proper mental health treatment can be difficult. Different programs are available, and working out which is best for you is vital. Should you choose outpatient or inpatient mental health treatment? Consider these factors to make a decision.

Understanding Your Options

The main difference between outpatient versus inpatient care is where you stay. Outpatient treatment generally involves staying at your own home. You go to a facility to attend treatment. Inpatient care means living in a facility where professionals monitor you. The professional overseeing the treatment is usually different in inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment. Usually, the professional overseeing outpatient care may be a primary care doctor. Inpatient professionals are specialists in addiction, psychiatry, or other relevant fields.

For the most part, many things in inpatient care are available as an outpatient, such as therapy, medication, and so on. The main difference is the supervision and the ability to get help immediately when needed. For many patients, this is critical.

What Mental Health Treatment is Right?

Now that you know the difference, you must decide which is correct for your situation. This depends on a few factors, and you should consider each carefully to make a decision.

Experiences

Your mental health and experience is the most significant factor in determining treatment. Those with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses that aren’t severe are best suited for outpatient treatment. Therapy, medication, and access to a host of treatments that don’t require an overnight stay in a hospital may suffice.

Those who think they may be a danger to themselves or others are best suited to inpatient care to stay safe under the eye of professionals. Patients can also receive quick and urgent attention when needed. Substance abuse disorder treatment is better suited to inpatient care. Removing access to abused substances is essential to treatment.

Comfort

Your comfort level is important when reviewing your mental health treatment options. If the thought of staying in an inpatient facility makes you feel nervous, stressed, or anxious, it may be counter-productive to your goals. An inpatient stay is best for patients with safety concerns or worry about what might happen when left alone. It’s vital to be honest with yourself and your needs. While an inpatient stay may seem stressful, it’s worthwhile if it helps your recovery.

Affordability

Affordability is a significant factor when considering mental health treatment. Inpatient stays tend to be more expensive. If you have health insurance, you should also check what is covered to make an informed decision. Your mental health is essential. It would be best if you took care of it in the best way possible. In 2019, $225 billion was spent on mental health as people are increasingly able to recognize when they need help and take action.

If you need inpatient therapy but are worried about the cost, inquire about payment plans and financing. They may be able to help.

Accessibility

Some states and counties have more accessible mental health treatment than others. It’s best to look at the specific options in your area rather than mental health programs as a whole. Inpatient therapy may be best for those who can’t get back and forth to outpatient programs regularly and worry that they may struggle if they need help with something right away.

What Do the Professionals Recommend?

It would help if you listened to what the professionals recommend, as your doctor or therapist will know best. Sit down with them, consider the options, and ask what’s best for you and your mental health. While they will be able to make you a recommendation, the final decision is up to you, but you should take their advice into account, as they’re trying to do what’s best for you. 

Finding the Best Mental Health Treatment 

Consider all of these factors and ask a medical professional for an opinion. Your health is essential, and finding the proper mental health treatment is a big decision. If you’re unsure and not a danger to yourself or others, it may be best to try outpatient first and then transition to inpatient if needed. If you need a reliable and trusted facility for inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment, let us help you. Contact us today to start your healing journey — sometimes, doing the right thing is the hardest, but it pays off in the end.

Medically Reviewed: August 9, 2022

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer | CWC Recovery Staff

Clinical Team

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Content on this page has been reviewed by CWC Medical Staff for accuracy.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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