When it comes to seeking treatment for mental health, there are a variety of options available. One of these options is an outpatient program, which enables individuals to receive treatment while still living at home and maintaining their daily responsibilities. But how do you know if an outpatient program is the right choice for you?

Valley Hospital is here to walk you through the top 5 reasons people end up choosing an outpatient program to work on their mental health needs. Whether you’ve just completed a residential program or you’re simply looking for an affordable mental health option, learn more about the benefits of outpatient programs.

What Is an Outpatient Program?

A smiling woman with glasses, an older man and an African American man sit outdoor for their group therapy session.

An outpatient program is a type of therapy program where people receive care for their mental health needs while still living at home and maintaining their daily responsibilities. Unlike inpatient programs, where individuals stay in a facility for a designated period, outpatient programs offer more flexibility and enable people to attend therapy sessions or receive medication management on an outpatient basis.

There are two types of outpatient programs: Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs).

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are a specific type of outpatient program that offers more structured and intensive treatment. These programs typically involve a higher frequency of therapy sessions and may also provide additional services such as group therapy or family therapy. IOPs are often recommended for people who need more support than traditional outpatient programs can provide but do not require the 24-hour care of an inpatient program.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are another form of outpatient treatment that offers a higher level of care than traditional outpatient programs. PHPs typically involve attending treatment sessions for several hours a day, several days a week. These programs are useful for people who require more intensive treatment but do not need to stay in a hospital overnight.

When Should I Consider an Outpatient Program?

Taking the steps in renewed mental well-being can be a difficult, yet incredibly powerful choice. If you identify with any of the following reasons, it may be time to consider starting an outpatient program.

1) You have completed an inpatient program

For some people, an outpatient program may be the next step in their recovery journey after completing a residential program. This allows for a gradual transition back into daily life while still receiving the support and treatment you need. If you have completed an inpatient program and feel ready to continue your recovery journey in a less intensive setting, an outpatient program may be the right choice for you.

2) You have mild to moderate mental health symptoms

Outpatient programs are typically best suited for people with mild to moderate symptoms. This means that you are still able to manage your daily responsibilities, but are struggling to do so as a result of your mental health. For example, someone with depression may begin having a hard time keeping up with their school or work assignments. 

Outpatient programs are a good option to help you manage these symptoms and put your life back on track. If you have a severe mental health condition, though, an inpatient program may be a better option for you as it provides more intensive treatment and support.

3) You want to continue working or going to school

For many people, taking time off work or school to attend an inpatient program is not an option. An outpatient program enables you to continue with your daily responsibilities while still receiving treatment. This can be especially beneficial for people who are in school or have a job that they do not want to put on hold.

4) You need flexibility in your treatment schedule

Another one of the benefits of an outpatient program is the flexibility it offers in terms of treatment schedules. This is especially beneficial for people who have work, school or other family commitments that they cannot put on hold. Partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs provide treatment that requires more or less of a time commitment. Partial hospitalization programs at Valley Hospital take place for four hours each day. IOPs, on the other hand, are offered three times each week for three hours.

With an outpatient program, you can attend therapy sessions and support groups at times that work best for you, enabling you to continue with your daily responsibilities while still receiving treatment.

5) You need a more affordable option

Mental health treatment is often thought of as being too expensive. However, that is not always the case. Outpatient programs provide a more affordable option for treatment than inpatient programs. This makes them a more accessible option for people who may not have the financial means for an inpatient program. If you are concerned about the cost of treatment, consider reaching out to Valley Hospital to learn more about outpatient program costs and coverage.

If you identify with one or more of these signs, an outpatient program may be the right choice for you. It is important to carefully consider your options and choose the treatment program that best fits your needs and circumstances. Remember, seeking help for mental health is a brave and important step towards a healthier and happier life.

Help Is Here at Valley Hospital

Your mental health condition does not have to dominate your life. Outpatient programs can provide the care you need while still remaining a flexible and affordable option. If you identify with one or more of the points above, it may be time to consider whether an outpatient program is the right choice for you.

Valley Hospital of Phoenix, Arizona, is here to provide the behavioral health services you need. Our dedicated team provides compassionate mental health services. Learn more about our inpatient program and outpatient program today.

If you or someone you know is a veteran struggling with mental health issues, know that help is available. Reach out to Valley Hospital at 602-957-4000 or complete this form to get started on your mental health recovery journey today.

If you are in crisis and need assistance immediately, call 911 or 988 for the Suicide Prevention Hotline.