Residential Vs Outpatient Mental Health Treatment Programs for Teens

It is a fact of our society today that many more people are in need of mental counseling than ever before.  Does this mean that people have changed?  Not necessarily, but our awareness of mental health illnesses has changed a great deal, especially in teenagers.  Being a teenager is a difficult time of life at best, and when you are face with a mental illness, then it doubles the difficulty of getting through those teen years.  Fortunately, there are several options now for teenagers faced with a need for therapy, but we will be focusing on two: residential vs outpatient mental health treatment.

Residential treatment is needed when severe or acute cases of mental illness exist and the patient is at risk to themselves or to others.  Some of these disorders might include schizophrenia, bulimia or anorexia, or severe depression resulting in attempts at suicide.  Eating disorders have been included in this list because severe anorexia can lead to death through depleting the body of essential foods it needs to survive.  The facilities offered can be small or large and the time the patient stays there is determined by the doctor who prescribed this treatment as well as the guardians of the teenager.

Outpatient treatment programs are used when the illnesses do not present a danger to either the teenager or to others.  Some of these cases might be mild depression, bipolar disorder, manic depressives, anxiety disorders, or mood disorders.  An outpatient treatment program will usually provide medicine prescribed by a doctor to help a teenager live a more normal life.  Counseling sessions will also be scheduled, usually on a weekly basis, so the doctor can ascertain how the patient is responding to medicine and do they need any extra medical help.

Ultimately, the decision between residential vs outpatient mental health treatment is left up to the teenager and the guardians.  By doing your research, you will find a program that best fits your needs and the needs of your teenager.


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