Mental health and behavioral health are broad terms that can encompass a wide range of issues and challenges that can have profound impacts on both the substance and quality of an individual’s life. Examples of mental health disorders and behavioral health disorders that commonly develop during childhood or adolescence include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder. Young people may also struggle with depressive disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though symptoms of these disorders may develop during adulthood as well. Among the mental and behavioral issues that typically develop during adulthood are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
It is extremely difficult to express the breadth and depth of the impact that mental health and behavioral health concerns have on individuals and families throughout the United States. For example, the disorders mentioned in the previous paragraph are far from a comprehensive list of the disorders for which individuals across the country receive professional treatment every day, and almost all disorders can impact children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients. Also, the scope and impact of a behavioral health disorder or mental health disorder can vary widely from person to person due to several factors, including the age of onset, the presence of co-occurring disorders, the individual’s history with alcohol and other drugs, and the length of time between onset of symptoms and the start of treatment. Finally, the symptoms of some disorders can be virtually eliminated by treatment, while with other disorders, the optimal outcome of treatment is to reduce the severity and/or frequency of symptoms and to improve the afflicted individual’s ability to manage those symptoms.
At Acadia Healthcare, we are familiar both with the impact of mental health and behavioral health disorders and with the various types and levels of treatment that have proven to be most effective. At the programs that are members of the Acadia Healthcare network, individuals and families whose lives have been affected by behavioral health and mental health concerns can receive the comprehensive care that will provide maximum relief from their symptoms and help make the greatest possible improvements in their quality of life.
Why Consider Treatment for a Mental Health or Behavioral Health Disorder
It is not an overstatement to note that untreated behavioral health and mental health disorders can have a devastating impact on all aspects of an individual’s life. Of course, the potential damage that a person may experience depends upon several factors, starting with the type of disorder that he or she has developed. However, failing to get treatment for any disorder can magnify the potential for damage, and can complicate later attempts to address the problem. For example, many people unfortunately view ADHD as a phase that adolescents will grow out of as they transition into adulthood. However, untreated ADHD can have a significantly negative impact on a student’s academic performance, which can have a detrimental impact on his or her future employment, financial status, and overall quality of life. The disorder itself can also continue to cause problems long after the individual has outgrown his or her teen years; these problems may lead the individual into substance abuse and addiction, which can expose him or her to additional grievous harm.
Whether a person is struggling with disorders that tend to respond well to treatment, such as ADHD and depressive disorders, or is experiencing a disorder that can be more difficult to treat, such as schizophrenia, effective professional interventions can always have a beneficial impact. In some cases, this care can result in the virtual elimination of symptoms; in other cases, the outcome may involve developing more effective coping strategies, learning healthy symptom management techniques, and establishing a stronger support network. In all of these cases, both the quality of the afflicted individual’s life and his or her potential for future development are improved by receiving professional care at an effective treatment program.
The programs in the Acadia Healthcare network have helped countless adolescents and adults whose lives had been negatively impacted by behavioral health and/or mental health disorders. While each Acadia program is unique, all of the programs within the network share a common commitment to providing comprehensive services that have been customized according to the specific strengths, needs, and goals of each person who is entrusted into their care. Regardless of which Acadia center an individual enters for treatment, he or she can expect to work in close collaboration with dedicated professionals who are skilled at employing a wide range of therapies and treatment techniques in order to provide the most focused care and best prepare the individual for continued success. In Acadia’s programs, the emphasis is not merely on alleviating symptoms, but on identifying and addressing the underlying issues and/or co-occurring disorders that have been preventing the individuals in treatment from achieving to their greatest potential.
Levels of Care Offered Through Acadia Healthcare
Adolescents and adults who heal at an Acadia Healthcare program may benefit from a variety of treatment services that are provided at several levels. Some individuals may need to start with round-the-clock care in an intensive treatment environment, and slowly progress through a series of step-down levels of care before they transition into community-based support services. Others may need a brief residential experience, or may be best served by care at the outpatient level. At Acadia Healthcare, no one is ever shoehorned into a “one size fits all” treatment environment. Depending upon the results of a thorough assessment, an individual’s personalized care at an Acadia program may feature one or several of the following elements:
Detoxification services: Many people who struggle with behavioral or mental health disorders also have problems with the abuse of alcohol and/or other drugs. For this reason, many of Acadia’s programs provide medically monitored detox to ensure that individuals can rid their bodies of the substances they have been abusing in a safe and comfortable environment prior to transitioning directly into residential or inpatient treatment for their primary diagnosis.
Inpatient treatment: Inpatient treatment is our most intensive level of care, and typically serves as a short-term treatment experience for individuals who are in need of psychiatric stability. Inpatient treatment involves round-the-clock care, often with a strong medical and/or psychiatric component, and often with the goal of stabilizing the individual so that he or she can benefit from future care at a less intensive level.
Residential treatment: Adolescents and adults who participate in residential care at programs in the Acadia network will have the opportunity to participate in multiple therapeutic activities, typically including individual, group, family, and experiential therapies. Residential treatment may also involve medication management services. Though not as intensive as inpatient care, residential treatment still provides round-the-clock supervision as well as a structured and supportive environment in which individuals can make therapeutic progress and practice their newfound skills.
Day treatment with educational services: Adolescents who are dealing with mental health or behavioral health disorders that preclude them from functioning in a traditional academic environment, but that do not rise to the level of requiring the intensive structure of inpatient or residential care, may be best served by day treatment with educational services. At this level, youth can receive therapeutic care along with educational support so that they can experience relief from their mental or behavioral health issues while continuing to stay current with their schoolwork and make academic progress.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): PHP may be the optimal level for individuals who have completed inpatient or residential treatment, but who can benefit from a structured, yet less intensive, level of support. PHP may also be an option for individuals whose needs are not severe enough to require inpatient or residential care. Depending upon the individual’s needs and the structure of the specific program, PHP services may be provided for limited hours on a daily basis, with participants returning home at the end of the treatment day. Group therapy is often the primary means of treatment in PHP, with programs also offering individual therapy, family support services, and other options on an as-needed basis.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Treatment at the IOP level is often the least restrictive that a program offers, and is usually designed to support an individual as he or she makes a healthy transition out of the treatment environment. At many Acadia centers, IOP services are provided at multiple times during the day so that individuals who are receiving care can also attend school, go to work, or otherwise attend to personal responsibilities. Group therapy is usually the main method of treatment in IOP, with participants attending fewer hours on fewer days of the week than are required in PHP. Similar to day treatment and PHP, IOP does not include a residential component.
Traditional outpatient services: Many Acadia programs also provide a range of more traditional outpatient services, including individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy and education, discharge/aftercare planning, and related services. In traditional outpatient services, these therapeutic interventions happen on a less frequent basis than they do in PHP or IOP.
At Acadia Healthcare, experienced and compassionate professionals are dedicated to providing superior personalized care in an atmosphere of dignity and respect to individuals who have been struggling with one or more mental health or behavioral health disorders. At Acadia programs, adolescents and adults can expect to work with experts who are dedicated to providing evidence-based, research-supported services that are designed to meet their specific needs and put them in the best position to experience long-term success.
To learn more about treatment at an Acadia program, or to get answers to any specific questions that you may have about any individual center, type of service, or level of care, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to providing you with the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself or for a loved one.