Alternative to Psychiatric Hospitalization

Jun 6, 2024 | Outpatient Treatment, Psychiatric Hospitalization

Are There Alternatives to Psychiatric Hospitalization?

Whether it’s for you or a loved one, finding the right level of care for mental health or substance abuse crises can be challenging. While inpatient psychiatric hospitals provide essential services for those in emergencies, many individuals can benefit from alternative psychiatric and mental health treatment options. New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers in Greater Houston offer a range of treatment programs designed to provide intensive mental and behavioral health support without needing an overnight stay. 

When is Psychiatric Hospitalization Necessary?

There are situations where inpatient psychiatric hospitalization is the right choice, and there is research to support its efficacy in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation from admission to discharge. Inpatient mental health facilities provide round-the-clock care and supervision, which can be life-saving in severe cases. Inpatient psychiatric hospitals are equipped to handle acute mental health crises and provide immediate, intensive treatment in a controlled environment. This is crucial for those who may be dangerous to themselves or others. Some conditions that may require inpatient hospitalization include:

  • Imminent danger to oneself or others: This includes individuals who are suicidal or homicidal and need constant monitoring to prevent harm.
  • Severe episodes of bipolar disorder (mania or depression): During extreme mood swings, individuals may be unable to care for themselves or may engage in risky behaviors.
  • Active psychosis: Symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and severe disorganization can make it impossible for a person to function safely without close supervision.
  • Need for medical supervision during detox: Withdrawal from substances like alcohol or drugs can be dangerous and requires medical oversight to manage potential complications.
  • Inability to function in an outpatient setting: Some individuals may be unable to perform daily activities or maintain essential self-care due to the severity of their mental health condition.

However, the criteria for admission to inpatient psychiatric hospitals are often narrow, focusing primarily on immediate safety concerns. Additionally, the stay in such facilities is usually short, typically less than five days. This brief duration aims to stabilize the individual during a crisis but often does not provide comprehensive treatment of underlying issues. 

After discharge, many individuals continue to experience symptoms that led to their hospitalization and require further therapy through outpatient programs and continuing care to maintain progress and prevent relapse.

Understanding Outpatient Mental Health Treatment Options

For those who are new to alternative treatment programs for severe mental health issues, it’s essential to understand that outpatient treatment provides a flexible and practical approach to addressing mental health and substance abuse issues. Unlike inpatient hospitalization at a psychiatric facility, outpatient programs allow individuals to live at home and continue their daily activities while receiving intensive therapeutic support. This is often ideal for those who need more than just a weekly session with an outpatient therapist.

Types of Outpatient Programs

1. Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP): PHPs are structured programs that provide comprehensive care similar to inpatient treatment but without an overnight stay. Clients attend treatment sessions, participate in intensive programming daily, and return home in the evening. PHPs typically include individual therapy, group therapy, medication management, and other therapeutic activities. Learn More About PHP in Greater Houston with New Dimensions.

2. Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): IOPs offer slightly less intensive care than PHPs. Clients attend treatment sessions several times weekly for a few hours daily. An intensive outpatient treatment program typically has fewer weekly hours than a standard PHP. Additionally, IOPs are designed to accommodate individuals who need substantial support but also want to maintain their regular responsibilities or do not have the option of taking time off. Learn More About IOP With New Dimensions. 

3. Outpatient Programs (OP): Outpatient therapy and treatment programs provide the least intensive level of care, involving regular therapy sessions (e.g., once or twice a week) with a mental health professional. Outpatient therapy suits individuals who need ongoing support but do not require intensive treatment. It may include individual sessions with a therapist or group sessions with a therapist through an outpatient treatment center. Learn More About OP With New Dimensions.

The Role of PHP and IOP

PHP and IOP are frequently effective alternatives to inpatient care for those who are not an immediate threat to themselves or others. These programs offer a higher level of care than traditional outpatient therapy by providing intensive treatment and support while allowing individuals to return home daily. This structure can be more comfortable and desirable for many people, enabling them to maintain a sense of normalcy and stay connected with their support systems.

The Importance of Continuing Care

Research supports the importance of continuing care following intensive treatment at facilities like inpatient psychiatric hospitals. As we know, treatment programs like PHP and IOP are suitable for those who need more than weekly individual therapy but do not require 24-hour supervision. However, these programs can also serve as a critical next step following psychiatric hospitalization, helping individuals transition smoothly from intensive inpatient care to a less restrictive environment while continuing to receive the support they need.

Who Can Benefit from PHP and IOP?

PHP and IOP are appropriate for individuals experiencing:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Severe depression or anxiety
  • PTSD
  • OCD
  • Trauma
  • Bipolar issues
  • Behavioral problems
  • Substance abuse and addictions
  • Difficulty regulating medications

New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers offer PHP and IOP programs in Clear Lake, Houston, as well as Katy and The Woodlands, helping individuals develop coping skills, manage medications, and work through significant emotional distress. These programs are designed to address a wide range of mental health and substance abuse issues, providing a comprehensive approach to treatment that promotes long-term recovery and well-being.

Learn More About the Conditions We Treat at New Dimensions

Advantages of Outpatient Programs at New Dimensions

New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers provide several advantages over inpatient psychiatric hospitals:

1. No overnight stays: Clients return home every evening, allowing them to maintain their daily routines and stay connected with their support systems.

2. No locked doors: Treatment is provided in a professional setting without the restrictions of a locked facility.

3. Higher-functioning clients: Programs are geared toward professionals and higher-functioning individuals who need intensive treatment without disrupting hospitalization.

4. Separate programs for adults and adolescents: New Dimensions offers distinct programs for adults and adolescents, addressing mental health, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis issues. Learn More About Our Treatment Programs for Adults.

5. Medication management: Psychiatric medication management can help clients stabilize their medications while receiving intensive treatment.

6. Focus on coping skills and resolving issues: The treatment programs go beyond crisis stabilization, helping clients resolve underlying problems and develop skills to manage stressors.

7. Family-centered adolescent treatment: The adolescent program involves the family system, with treatment sessions scheduled after school to accommodate teenagers’ schedules. Learn More About Adolescent Treatment at New Dimensions.

8. In-person and online options: New Dimensions offers in-person and online treatment options, delivering flexibility to meet clients’ needs. Learn More About Our Virtual Outpatient Programs.

New Dimensions Can Help

New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers help individuals overcome emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges without the restrictions of inpatient hospitalization. Our Houston-area treatment centers often prevent the need for inpatient hospitalization or residential treatment and serve as a next step for those transitioning from inpatient care. 

Comprehensive Outpatient Services

New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers provide a wide range of services:

Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit to learn more.

Begin Your Healing Journey With New Dimensions

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues, consider the alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization offered by New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers. With comprehensive PHP and IOP programs, experienced therapists and psychiatrists, and a commitment to helping clients develop the skills they need to thrive, New Dimensions is an excellent choice for intensive outpatient treatment.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary assessment, visit New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers or call 1-866-757-3594. You can also learn about outpatient therapy services through their affiliate, MHThrive.

New Dimensions Day Treatment Centers has locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and Houston, Texas, and offers online services to residents across the State.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What happens after being discharged from an inpatient psychiatric hospital?

Many people benefit from additional treatment after being discharged from an inpatient hospital. They may still be experiencing many of the symptoms that led to their hospitalization and may need extra help stabilizing their medications. Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) allow people to continue to receive intensive treatment and support as they return home. PHPs and IOPs can help people develop the coping skills they need, which can decrease the likelihood of future hospitalizations.

2. What are the alternatives to “mental asylums?”

Today, there are numerous alternatives to the outdated concept of mental asylums. These modern options focus on providing comprehensive, humane, and effective care within the community and include:

  • Outpatient therapy: Regular sessions with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or therapist, to address mental health issues. These include outpatient programs such as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs).
  • Community mental health centers: These centers provide a range of services, including therapy, medication management, and case management, within the community.
  • Support groups: Peer-led groups where individuals can share experiences and coping strategies.
  • Crisis intervention services: Immediate, short-term help during a mental health crisis, often available through hotlines or mobile crisis units.
  • Residential treatment centers: Facilities where individuals live temporarily while receiving intensive treatment in a structured environment.

If you or a loved one is looking for an alternative to an inpatient mental health facility, contact New Dimensions today to learn more about our outpatient mental health programs. Call: 800-685-9796

3. When should you walk away from someone with mental illness?

Deciding to walk away from someone with mental illness is a complex and deeply personal decision. Here are some situations where it might be necessary:

  • Personal Safety: If the person’s behavior becomes violent or poses a threat to your safety or well-being, you may need to leave the situation.
  • Emotional Well-being: If the relationship consistently causes significant emotional distress or negatively impacts your mental health, taking a step back might be essential for your well-being.
  • Boundaries: If the person consistently violates your boundaries despite clear communication and attempts to set limits, it may be time to distance yourself.
  • Lack of Support: If the person refuses to seek help or engage in treatment despite your support and encouragement, and their behavior significantly impacts your life, you may need to prioritize your health.

When faced with such decisions, seeking advice from a mental health professional who can provide tailored guidance to your situation is essential.

4. How to help someone with psychosis who doesn’t want help?

Helping someone with psychosis who doesn’t want help can be challenging. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Stay calm and supportive: Approach the person with empathy and patience. Let them know you are there for them without being judgmental or forceful.
  • Educate yourself: Learn about psychosis to better understand what the person is experiencing and how you can support them effectively.
  • Build trust: Establish a trusting relationship by listening to and validating their feelings, even if you disagree with their perceptions.
  • Encourage professional help: Gently suggest that they seek help from a mental health professional. Offer to assist them in finding resources or accompany them to appointments.
  • Involve trusted individuals: Sometimes, a trusted family member, friend, or community leader can encourage a person to seek help.
  • Crisis intervention: If the person poses an immediate danger to themselves or others, contact emergency services or a crisis intervention team for immediate assistance.

Related: Interventions at New Dimensions in Greater Houston

5. What are the alternatives to psychiatric medication?

While psychiatric medication can be an effective treatment for many mental health conditions, there are several alternatives and complementary approaches:

  • Psychotherapy: Various forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and psychodynamic therapy, can help individuals understand and manage their conditions.
  • Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques can significantly improve mental health.
  • Mindfulness and meditation: Practices like mindfulness meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Nutritional supplements: Some individuals find relief with supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, though it’s vital to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.
  • Alternative therapies: Acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care can provide additional support for mental health.
  • Support groups: Engaging with others who have similar experiences can provide emotional support and practical advice.
  • Art and music therapy: These creative therapies can help individuals express emotions and improve mental health in a non-verbal way.
  • Biofeedback and neurofeedback: These techniques use real-time monitoring of brain activity to help individuals gain control over certain physiological functions.

Consult a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan tailored to individual needs. Contact New Dimensions today to learn more about our psychiatric services and treatment programs. 

Call: 800-685-9796


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