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Inpatient Mental Health – A Comprehensive Guide

Although the number of people going to inpatient mental health beds is at an all-time low, the United States still suffers from a high rate of inpatient mental health care. That’s because the U.S. has one of the highest rates of inpatient mental health treatment in the world. While it might not be as glamorous as going to a movie or bowling night at your local bowling alley, getting your mind checked out by a mental health professional is something that needs to be done from time to time. As such, this guide covers everything you need to know about going to an inpatient psychiatric facility so you can feel better about yourself again the next day.

What is inpatient mental health care?

Inpatient mental health facility is a type of care in a hospital or a mental health center that is specifically designed to help people with severe mental illness get back on the right track. This type of care is often longer than the usual amount of care a person with a mental illness would be given at home, and is more expensive. The idea is to avoid putting a patient in the general population again before they have a chance to show some improvement. After a period of inpatient care, people with a diagnosable mental illness can then be referred to a community mental health center or a treatment program. One example of an authentic mental health care program is at Atlanta Inpatient Mental Health.

How does inpatient mental health care work?

The idea behind inpatient mental health care is that you will still be under the supervision of the professionals who helped you get well. This means that the person who assessed you before coming to the hospital will be present in the facility with you. While you’re in the facility, you’ll be under the care of a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or another mental health professional who’ll be responsible for your health. The length of stay will depend on the severity of your condition and the benefits you’re able to benefit from in the short term.

Different Types of Inpatient Mental Health Care

There are many different types of inpatient mental health care, and you’re likely most familiar with at least one of them. Atypical inpatient care – This type of inpatient care is usually only available to people who are considered a high risk to themselves or others due to a specific condition or diagnosis. It’s usually short-term and focused on stabilization. 

  • Geriatric inpatient care – This is often the type of inpatient care that is recommended for people over the age of 65. It’s intended to be a short-term solution. 
  • Residential care – This is usually the type of inpatient care that is most common, and it’s typically a long-term solution. It’s also sometimes referred to as imprisonment of sanity. 
  • Day treatment – This is an option for people who require short-term support. It doesn’t require you to stop taking your medication or follow a specific regimen.

Pros and Cons of Inpatient Care

On the surface, inpatient care might seem like a good option for someone with a lot of mental illness to have. You’re likely to be in a facility where you’re only allowed to leave with the approval of a Psychiatric Social Worker (PSW), and where you’re only allowed to see the same doctors you were seeing before you became ill. You’re able to follow a strict regimen to get better, and you won’t be able to leave without the approval of a doctor. You might be called to come back to the facility if you need to get worse before getting better. 

On the other hand,, there are some cons to inpatient care that you should be aware of before deciding whether or not to go. Because you’re in a hospital or a similar setting, you might experience things such as anxiety and depression that are more prevalent in the community. You might not be able to choose where you go to eat or what time of the day you get helped because there’s not always someone available to help you. And depending on where you go, it might be hard for you to choose your doctors because they might not understand your needs as well as your preferences. The staff members who work in the hospital or the inpatient unit might not be as experienced with treating people with severe mental illness as you are, which could make it harder for you to get the care you need. 

However, there are plenty of authentic and reliable mental healthcare centers such as Atlanta Mental Health facility where patients experience long-term recovery.

Where to Find inpatient Mental Health Care

There are a few different ways to find inpatient mental health care. You can go to a psychiatric ward or a psychiatric hospital. A psychiatric ward is usually affiliated with a hospital and is run by the hospital, whereas a psychiatric hospital is actually a separate facility that is run by the government. A private psychiatric facility is also available. 

You’re likely to find inpatient Mental Health – A Comprehensive Guide care at a hospital or a private facility.

  • Inpatient or outpatient – You can also go to a psychiatric facility or clinic for inpatient or outpatient care. Because you’re usually there for a short period of time, you can choose when you want to go and how you want to spend your time. 
  • Day hospital – A day hospital is similar to an inpatient facility, but you stay in the hospital rather than being able to leave whenever you want. A typical day hospital will have a staff of about 10 people, and they’ll be able to see you for around 12 hours. 
  • Day treatment – Like day hospital, day treatment is short-term, and you’re usually there for a couple of hours at a time.

Inpatient mental health care is a good option if you’re able to make it to a facility and decide to go there. You’ll probably be transferred to an inpatient unit once you’re admitted, and then you’ll need to spend the majority of your time there. You’ll probably be getting extra help in the form of medication and counseling while you’re in an inpatient facility, and you’ll also likely be required to attend group therapy or other mental health counseling sessions. Inpatient care is necessary, but it’s not pleasant. Getting better takes time and consistency, and you’ll need to be consistent in seeking treatment and following a treatment regimen.