Inpatient vs Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

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When a person needs help treating their poor mental health, they have a range of options. Treatment for mental health disorders can be broken down into two categories: inpatient and outpatient. One requires a person to live in a facility while under the care of the staff while the other allows a person to live in their own home and visit the facility for therapy sessions. Whether you are new to getting help for a mental illness or have completed previous treatment, you may have a lot of questions. We explore the difference between inpatient vs outpatient mental health care to help you decide which is the best fit for your needs and goals for getting better.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Mental Health Treatment 

Mental health treatment can take place in different types of settings. An initial assessment by a physician or mental health counselor will help determine which type is right for a person. Both types of treatment offer certain things that help people minimize the symptoms of their particular mental illness. There are a few things to consider when it comes to understanding the commonalities and differences between inpatient vs outpatient mental health treatment.

Differences Between Inpatient & Outpatient

The primary difference between inpatient vs outpatient mental health treatment is where each takes place. Inpatient care requires a person to move into a treatment facility for a set period of time. There, they will receive focused, round-the-clock care. It may take place in a hospital or other clinical type of setting. In addition, it may be in a facility similar to a residential home and allows for a small number of residents. Outpatient care takes place at similar to a treatment clinic and does not require a person to live there. They can live in their own homes and travel to the facility for daytime or evening therapy sessions. 

Similarities Between Inpatient & Outpatient

Both types of care feature several choices in types of therapy that help people who struggle with mental health disorders. Therapeutic modalities include individual and group talk therapy. Treatment can also include options such as holistic and experiential therapy, as well as family therapy and more. Both inpatient and outpatient programs provide options for prescription drugs that help alleviate symptoms of many mental illnesses.

Benefits of Inpatient & Outpatient Mental Health Treatment 

When it comes to inpatient vs outpatient mental health care, both provide their own benefits. For someone who has just begun receiving care for a mental health disorder and is experiencing severe symptoms, inpatient care can suit their needs best. They can leave the daily stressors of their lives behind and get 24/7 care that helps minimize their symptoms and prepare them to transition into a lower level of care. If the person is determined to be potentially unsafe to themselves or others, a brief hold in a psychiatric hospital may be necessary. 

When a person doesn’t need the focused care that comes with living in a facility, outpatient care can provide the most benefits. This allows them to continue to live at home and take care of certain responsibilities, as needed. This includes working, going to school, and family obligations. It also gives the person the opportunity to take part in their regular lives while being able to address and process any challenges that arise with their therapists.


Woman getting help at an outpatient mental health treatment center vs an inpatient facility

How to Decide Between Inpatient vs Outpatient 

Someone trying to decide between inpatient vs outpatient mental health treatment should talk to a clinician familiar with their situation, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another mental health professional. An accurate diagnosis can be provided so that the individual knows exactly what mental illness they have. In addition, a diagnosis will give them what expectations they can have for treatment. 

As well, having a consultation with an admissions counselor for a mental health facility can provide the answer needed. The staff member can go over the person’s diagnosis, their range of symptoms, and what goals they have for treatment. As a result, a recommendation can be made for which type of treatment will work best. For many people, beginning with inpatient care and then transitioning into outpatient care provides the right balance of treatment and helps them improve their mental health long term.

Contact Us to Begin Either Inpatient or Outpatient Mental Health Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

Are you ready to get started on improving your mental health? And do you want help determining which type of care is best for you? The treatment that is right for your condition depends on if you need inpatient vs outpatient mental health. Montare provides a range of facilities that include both inpatient and outpatient treatment. This allows us to meet the needs of a diverse population of people. Our programs help treat several types of mental health disorders, making it easy to find the right match for your situation.

Would you like to talk to an admissions counselor to see which part of the Montare family of programs can help you improve your mental health? Our friendly staff can answer any questions you have when you contact us.