What To Know About Mental Health Outpatient Programs

Sad and depressed woman sitting on sofa at home.

Now more than ever, we live in a stressful world. Between our daily responsibilities, current events and social life, it’s no surprise that over one in five Americans live with some kind of  mental health condition.

While conversations about mental health awareness become less stigmatized, there is still plenty of confusion when it comes to mental health services. This confusion can act as a major barrier to those seeking help. 

Branches Arlington, serving the Arlington, Texas, area, is here to provide the answers you are looking for. Join us as we explore everything you need to know about outpatient programs for mental health.

What Is an Outpatient Program?

Outpatient programs refer to any mental or behavioral health treatment options provided by a team of licensed professional that does not require admission or an overnight stay at a hospital. They are a popular option and a common resource for those seeking support for their mental health. 

Outpatient program meeting frequency and length may vary based on the type of program one participates in, severity of the condition and professional recommendations. Generally speaking, however, outpatient programs are expected to meet anywhere between 3-5 times per week, for 3-6 hours at a time, for at least 2-3 weeks. 

What Are the Most Common Outpatient Programs?

There are two types of outpatient treatment:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) provide well-structured care to those struggling with moderate mental health concerns. They are meant for those needing higher levels of care, while still not requiring hospitalization. 

PHPs usually take pace 5 times per week, with sessions lasting anywhere between 4-8 hours depending on the program. At Branches Arlington, for example, our partial hospitalization program meets Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

PHPs typically act as an “in-between” step from inpatient to outpatient settings.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), on the other hand, provide intensive care to those struggling with mild mental health and/or substance use-related conditions. They enable patients to carry on with their daily lives while receiving the help they need. 

IOPs are a step down from PHPs in terms of intesity and frequency. Sessions typically take place 3-5 times per week for at least a few hours at a time. Branches Arlington’s IOP, for examples, meets Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. 12:00 P.M.

Outpatient Program Options

Options for outpatient program treatment depend on a variety of factors. Treatment modalities may include:

  • Counseling (individual, group and family)
  • Evidence-Based Therapy (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
  • Medication Management (as needed)

Branches Arlington bases your treatment plan on the results of your assessment.

What Conditions Do Outpatient Program Help With?

Outpatient programs can be a helpful treatment option for those struggling with:

  • Chemical dependency
  • Mental health disorders (such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, borderline personality disorders, and more)
  • A recent traumatic/ stressful event (such as an accident, natural disaster, job loss, relationship changes and more).

Benefits Of Outpatient Programs

Mental health outpatient programs provide many benefits. These include:

  • Continuity: Mental health outpatient treatment enables you to pursue your day-to-day life with minimal disruption.
  • Privacy: Unlike inpatient programs, outpatient programs may be a better option for those wishing to maintain their privacy.
  • Understanding Your Condition: During outpatient programs, you may engage in “psychoeducation”. Psychoeducation educates patients on a variety of mental health topics, such as the causes of one’s condition, its severity and effective coping skills. 
  • More Options: There is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health. Outpatient treatment gives you more options and flexibility than, say, an inpatient program. You can work with your mental health professional to determine the most effective treatment strategies for your individual needs and goals.

Recovery Starts Here

Making the decision to participate in an outpatient program can be a difficult, yet impactful decision. To make the best out of your treatment, however, it is important to understand what goes on in this type of program.

Branches Arlington, formerly known as the Excel Center of Arlington, is an outpatient-only psychiatric treatment center for adults located in Arlington, Texas. Our assessment team works with you to figure out the problem at hand and what treatment approach is most beneficial to your individual circumstances.

Recovery starts here. Reach out to 817-404-2207 to get started on your path to a brighter tomorrow.

If you think you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room.