Benefits of Community Mental Health Treatment
Recent changes in health care and reimbursement have affected mental health treatment, as they have all areas of medicine, nursing, and related health disciplines . Inpatient treatment is often the last, rather than the first, mode of treatment for mental illness. Cur-rent treatment reflects the belief that it is more beneficial and certainly more cost-effective for clients to remain in the community and receive outpatient treatment when-ever possible. The client can often continue to work and can stay connected to family, friends, and other support systems while participating in therapy. Outpatient therapy also takes into account that a person’s personality orbehavior patterns, such as coping skills, styles of commu-nication, and level of self-esteem, gradually develop over the course of a lifetime and cannot be changed in a rela-tively short inpatient course of treatment. Hospital admis-sion is indicated when the person is severely depressed and suicidal, severely psychotic, experiencing alcohol or drug withdrawal, or exhibiting behaviors that require close supervision in a safe, supportive environment. This sec-tion briefly describes the treatment modalities currently used in both inpatient and outpatient settings.