What Are the Levels of Care for Mental Health Treatment?

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Mental health is a topic that we’ve made a ton of headway in understanding over the last few years, but our knowledge is still growing. There are new ways to combat patient care, different types of treatments, and new forms of therapy that have proven effective for patients. Understanding the different levels of care for mental health treatment can be challenging but not impossible. With help from the experts at Pasadena Villa Network, learn more about inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and the various levels of care that go into treating mental health.

What Are Levels of Care?

It’s important to understand what levels of care are. When discussing levels of care with a professional, they will attempt to understand what form of treatment your condition needs. Depending on the type of mental illness you have and a host of other factors (which we’ll get to below), you’ll be recommended to take a specific measure.

Since there is no formulated treatment or exact way to categorize everyone, treatment centers often use mental health levels of care as a guide or outline for patients. Higher levels of care, including residential treatment, are for patients needing additional support in their treatment plan. Lower levels, typically outpatient treatment, which includes partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP), are for patients who benefit from a more flexible structure, whether seeking treatment while attending work or school or stepping down from residential treatment.

The Different Levels of Care

You might see plenty of numbers going around, but the truth is there isn’t a set number of levels to follow. It’s more like a continuum of care that patients enter at whatever level suits their situation best. Every level should be customized to the patient’s needs and can include individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Some more levels of care are outlined below:

Residential Care

Residential levels of care offer 24/7 support and supervision to patients with mental health disorders. Typically, programming schedules include individual, group, and family therapy throughout the week as well as education, holistic, and social integration work to help patients prepare for life after treatment.

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care offers more flexibility to individuals seeking care and typically falls into the categories of partial hospitalization programs (PHP) or intensive outpatient programs (IOP).   

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

As you can infer through the name, these programs are much less intensive and require patients to enter for six hours a day for most of the week. Sometimes called “day programs,” they focus on educational sessions, group activities, therapy, and helping patients with behavioral health issues.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

IOPs are closely related to PHPs but are for patients who are stable enough to go to work or school and can accommodate that schedule. They are much shorter — usually lasting about three to four hours — and happen during the afternoon when work hours are done.

How to Determine Which Level You Need

So how exactly are your conditions determined? As we discussed, lower levels of care are appropriate for those who would benefit from the flexibility of a less structured environment. Individuals who must maintain work or school schedules and need support as they work through mental health issues or maybe are stepping down from a residential program are typically those who would benefit from outpatient care.

Higher levels of care are for individuals who need a more structured therapeutic environment to help them in their mental health recovery journey. They benefit greatly from 24-hour support, a more regimented individual and group therapy schedule, and holistic therapies to supplement their treatment.

Get the Care You Need From Medical Professionals at Pasadena Villa Network

Mental illnesses are serious health issues that shouldn’t be taken lightly by anyone. The mere fact that there are levels of care for mental health treatment shows the importance of getting the right help for whatever problems are affecting you or your family. The best way to get the care you need is with assistance from a medical health professional with the right experience and training to understand your problems.

With Pasadena Villa Network, you’re one call away from the expert advice and mental health treatments needed. Combined with a focus on the levels of mental health care, we offer intensive outpatient programs that provide help for mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders. For more information on how Pasadena Villa Network can help you or a loved one, give us a call today at 407-215-2519.



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If you’re ready to take the next step in the recovery process for you or your loved one, the compassionate team at Pasadena Villa is here to help. Give us a call at 407.215.2519 or complete our contact form.

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