What Is Residential Treatment for Mental Health?

Updated on February 9, 2023

Mental health issues can be difficult to manage, and can often require more intensive treatment than is available in traditional outpatient settings. One approach that can provide this type of care is residential treatment. But what is residential treatment when it comes to mental health? Let’s take a look at what it entails.

What Is Residential Treatment?

Residential treatment is a type of mental health care in which an individual stays in a facility, typically for a period of time ranging from several weeks to months. This type of treatment provides around-the-clock care and supervision from medical professionals who specialize in mental health. Typically, residential treatment programs are used for individuals with severe mental illness or those who have not responded well to other types of interventions.

Benefits of Residential Treatment

The primary benefit of residential treatment is that individuals receive comprehensive support and care 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Additionally, since many individuals with serious mental health issues may not be able to maintain gainful employment or attend school while in recovery, the structure and routine provided by residential programs allow them to focus solely on their recovery and healing process without the distraction or stressors associated with everyday life. 

Furthermore, access to specialized treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), as well as medications if needed, combined with the supportive structure provided by these facilities can help individuals make significant progress towards achieving their therapeutic goals more quickly than they might in an outpatient setting.

How Long Does Residential Treatment for Mental Health Last?

The average length of stay in a residential treatment facility is typically around 30 days. However, this can vary depending on the individual’s needs, such as whether they are attending an intensive outpatient program or receiving more in-depth psychotherapy services. The individual’s insurance coverage may also affect the length of stay. 

For example, some insurance plans will only cover up to 30 days in a residential facility, while others may provide coverage for longer stays if medically necessary. Additionally, some facilities offer short-term programs that are designed to last less than 30 days, so this should be taken into consideration when deciding which program is best for your loved one.

Other factors that could influence the length of stay include any co-occurring disorders that need to be addressed along with mental health issues, such as substance use disorder or eating disorders. In these cases, it may be beneficial to enroll in a dual-diagnosis treatment program that can address both issues at once. 

These programs typically last anywhere from 60-120 days depending on the severity of the issues being treated.  It’s also important to keep in mind that residential treatment isn’t always intended to be a long-term solution; many individuals attend these programs simply to get back on their feet and develop healthy coping skills they can take back home with them afterward.

Finally, the socialization opportunities offered by residential programs help individuals learn how to interact with others who are going through similar experiences – something that would be difficult to replicate outside of a clinical setting. This increased level of support can also help reduce feelings of isolation that many people struggling with their mental health may experience while living alone or away from family members and friends who understand their struggles. 

Residential treatment for mental health offers a variety of benefits for those who are struggling with serious mental illness or those who have not responded well to other forms of intervention. By providing around-the-clock supervision from medical professionals specializing in mental health along with access to specialized therapies and medications if needed, as well as socialization opportunities within the program itself, residential treatment helps individuals make significant progress on their journey toward recovery more quickly than they would be able to do otherwise. If you know someone who may benefit from such a program, reach out today!

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.