Mental Health Rehab
Inpatient Treatment for Mental Illness & Addiction

The mind is delicate, complex, and very difficult to treat when it suffers from an imbalance. Yet because the mind is also central to how we experience the world, good mental health is extremely important to our overall well-being. Mental health rehab uses modern psychological techniques to identify the issues that need treatment – and then re-train the mind to overcome these issues to the greatest extent possible.
In many cases, mental health issues are only discovered indirectly. Trauma, stress, depression, schizophrenia, and other conditions may go undiagnosed until the sufferer develops other symptoms, such as a behavioural or substance addiction.
Cases like these, where a person forms an addiction while also suffering from a mental health disorder, are referred to as a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorder. In such situations, the addiction and the underlying mental health issue must both be effectively addressed in order to make lasting recovery possible.
This article provides an overview of mental health rehab, specifically for inpatient treatment. We use “mental health” and “mental illness” as umbrella terms to include substance use disorders.

Mental health treatment settings

By embracing a comprehensive approach to recovery, mental health rehab provides an excellent path forward for people who need focussed mental care, as well as those who also require addiction therapy alongside their mental health treatment.
Because each person has unique issues and circumstances, no single treatment model can be seen as ‘standard’. Current approaches include a variety of mental health treatment settings and levels of care.

Residential mental health facilities

Modern day rehab, for example, often takes the form of a private residential facility where clients stay for weeks or months and are made to feel at home. Clients have scheduled therapy sessions, but otherwise recreation and social activities are encouraged. Generally speaking, client behaviour is monitored as unobtrusively as possible within the controlled environment. The quiet, stress-free setting generates a welcoming atmosphere where recovery efforts are thought to be more effective.

Psychiatric hospitals

By contrast, traditional treatment is often set in a psychiatric hospital, which tends to feel more institutional in its approach to personal care and recovery. This type of treatment tends to be more appropriate for clients with a chronic psychiatric disorder, who may respond better to a relatively rigid structure and routine. Psychiatric hospitals are also staffed with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals – and are therefore well equipped for emergency situations.

General hospitals

Mental health treatment is also available in most general hospitals. In most cases, these hospitals are used to treat short-term emergencies, rather than to provide holistic, long-term rehabilitation. Inpatient treatment allows clients to be carefully monitored and given immediate medical attention when necessary. This setting is likely to be highly practical for preventing worse mental health outcomes, but is typically not ideal for lasting personal growth.

Alcohol and drug rehab facilities

Alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities often provide mental health inpatient treatment for those who need it. Since substance addiction is often at least partly the result of an underlying mental health disorder, many facilities set up to treat addiction also provide rehab for mental illness. These centres are normally designed for longer stays (a 30-day programme is typical), and aim to strengthen their clients’ mental foundations to enable better decision-making and greater self-control.

Outpatient settings

Outpatient treatment involves standard forms of therapy without the cost of 24/7 on-site care, meals and boarding. As an outpatient, you can still receive a decent level of care – such as appointments with medical professionals, group therapy sessions in an Intensive outpatient programme (IOPs), or individual therapy sessions with a private practitioner. Some centres even provide telepsychiatry and telemental health services which use remote communication (e.g., email or Zoom calls) to provide care from a distance, when in-person treatment is not an option.
Of course, the effectiveness of any treatment centre also depends on its staff. It is therefore worth reviewing how each type of arrangement fits with the overall mission of guiding clients to a higher state of well-being.

Types of mental health professionals

Some specialists are most helpful when you need a doctor’s formal diagnosis, or a prescription for medicine. Others provide conversation-based therapy and other types of support on a more personal level. The following descriptions can give you an approximate idea of the functions of various experts you may encounter when seeking rehab for mental health:

Clinical Psychologist – A person with a doctoral degree in psychology. This person can make a medical diagnosis and lead a therapy session.

Psychiatrist – A medical doctor specialising in mental and emotional issues. Although this person can prescribe medicine, they typically do not provide personal counselling.

Social worker – This type of counsellor has a Master’s degree in social work, and is typically employed in a hospital setting. They can diagnose clients and provide counselling, but cannot prescribe medication.

Licenced Professional Counsellor – This person has a Master’s degree, usually in psychology or counselling. They are also unable to write prescriptions, but can diagnose and counsel their clients.

Psychologist talking with patient during the therapy. Psychotherapist counseling client.

Mental Health Counsellor – With a Master’s degree and years of clinical work experience, this person can likewise diagnose and counsel clients, but not prescribe medication.

Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellor – As the name suggests, this type of specialist treats substance abuse through individual and group counselling. They can diagnose clients, but do not prescribe medicine.

These and other professionals may, in turn, specialise in the treatment of particular kinds of mental health disorders. Certain mental health rehabilitation centres may also decide to focus on individual issues, or types of issues. When seeking the ideal rehab for mental illness, it is important to make sure that the facility represents the right match for your specific needs.

What can be treated at a mental health rehab?

The road to recovery begins with making the right diagnosis. The following categories cover most common mental illnesses, and there may be some overlap between them:

Substance use disorder – Encompassing both substance abuse and substance dependence, this disorder reflects the overuse of chemical substances, which in turn creates bodily harm.

Depression – This condition describes persistent, overwhelming, and uncontrollable feelings of sadness, or a loss of interest in participating in the world.

Anxiety – This disorder describes near-constant feelings of fear, worry, or nervousness. It is often the result of overexposure to stressful situations.

Trauma-related disorders – People often have trouble processing shocking and/or disturbing events that they have experienced or witnessed. These disorders, which include PTSD, can result in lasting discomfort.

Personality disorders – This category describes a way of thinking and behaving that can be harmful, is outside social norms, and often leads to an inability to function in society. Examples include obsessive-compulsive disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder, among others.

Psychotic disorders – These disorders are characterised by delusions, hallucinations, or other ways people lose touch with the nature of reality. If the sufferer becomes a danger to themselves or to others around them, urgent treatment becomes necessary.

People whose symptoms put them in any of the above categories require careful and delicate attention toward recovery. It is important to also realise that more than one condition may be present. Indeed, the presence of one type of mental health issue may quickly lead to the development of another.

The link between mental health and addiction

Substance addiction in particular is closely related to other mental health issues. The co-existence of these related phenomena in a single person is referred to as dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders.
When these two conditions appear together, it is only natural to wonder which one came first – the substance abuse, or the mental health problem.
The answer is complicated. For many people, pre-existing mental health issues can make life more difficult. Social, professional, and romantic success may be elusive if mental disorders get in the way, leading to feelings of loneliness or frustration. These feelings, in turn, may lead people to chase certain forms of short-term pleasure, which they may find in drugs or alcohol. However, the continued use of these substances often makes their performance in other areas of life deteriorate even further, thereby increasing their reliance on their chemical of choice.
For other people, purely recreational drug or alcohol use can lead to negative mental health effects. These drugs may lower inhibitions, and lead to aggressive or careless behaviour, which can then disrupt an otherwise successful lifestyle. Anxiety, guilt, and other emotions may rise to the surface, eventually hardening into a mental health disorder that will remain in place until it is properly treated at a mental health rehab centre.

Rehab for mental health and addiction

When a person seeks treatment for either substance abuse or a mental health condition, they are given a full assessment which takes into account their current and past behaviours, their prior treatment experiences, family history, and other important factors. This assessment is the product of an extended interview and examination, which can uncover the details necessary to make a complete diagnosis.
Both the substance abuse and the mental health issues must be treated successfully if the client is to recover, but the more urgent of the two issues is likely to receive the most focussed treatment in the earlier stages.
For example, in cases of moderate to severe addiction, a period of detox may be needed. Only after this initial stage is complete can a more well-rounded approach to treatment – including attention to their addiction as well as their underlying mental health issues – take place.

What to expect from mental health inpatient treatment

If an initial period of detox is needed, psychiatric medications may be used to help stabilise the client in preparation for the main course of psychological therapy. The detox period, and in particular any medication that is used to treat discomfort, will take place under medical supervision.
Behavioural therapy is normally at the heart of treatment for a co-occurring disorder, with some combination of individual and group counselling to help clients find their way forward. Therapy takes place through structured conversation over a series of scheduled sessions, with the ultimate goal of empowering the client to retake control of their thought processes. Additional involvement with support groups may also be added to the programme of recovery, to give clients additional opportunities to learn from (and bond with) their peers.
Throughout their stay at rehab for mental health issues and substance abuse, clients should receive continuous, round-the-clock care to ensure that they remain on a safe and stable path toward recovery. This environment of comprehensive support is a major reason why inpatient treatment is so effective at helping many people succeed in their goal of recovery.

Therapies for mental health disorders

This main stage of primary care treatment, usually centred around psychological therapy and other forms of behavioural modification, can have highly beneficial effects when applied to addiction as well as any other mental health disorders.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based

approaches help clients identify certain behavioural triggers, notice how these triggers derail their mindset onto negative and destructive tracks, and learn how to steer these thoughts back in a more positive direction. This approach is widely used to bring about positive mental health outcomes. Similar forms of education and mental tools can likewise be imparted to the loved ones of the client, letting them play a more helpful role in ensuring that their recovery is long-lasting.

Psycho-education

Psycho-education is a lecture-based approach, usually designed for groups, aimed at helping clients gain a greater understanding of their condition. This technique allows clients to put their struggles in a useful framework, which in turn lets them implement effective strategies for change. Psycho-education also typically involves direct behavioural guidance, so that clients learn to avoid potential triggers and high-stress situations before they develop.

Psychology or invent conception. Brain or mind function model.

Self-help and support groups

constitute other valuable approaches to recovery, which may be used in addition to the methods employed at mental health inpatient treatment. Certain types of support groups may be endorsed by mental health rehab centres, but are run independently. In many cases, these groups take the form of 12-step programmes – though other frameworks, including those based on cognitive therapy, spiritual guidance, or a combination of methods, can also be found. Attendees tend to be peers suffering from similar conditions, who support each other from a place of experience.

Health and wellness therapy

can supplement a course of treatment by helping the body and mind stay in a state of positive balance. From a nutritious diet, to massage and meditation therapy, to sports, yoga, nature walks, and other activities, this approach uses the body and spirit to reinforce the foundation of healing that more traditional therapies seek to instil.

Prescription medication

may also have its place on the journey to recovery. Medicine may be used to gently wean the body away from more harmful drugs, and protect against the side effects of withdrawal. By alleviating pain and keeping the client in a more comfortable state, prescription medication can make it easier to focus on the deeper lessons of therapy.

How much does rehab for mental health cost?

The cost of rehab for mental health depends heavily on several factors, including the type of care facility being used, the location where the treatment is provided, and how long you stay in rehab. The following is a very rough guide to the types of prices to expect, and factors to consider:
  • Treatment in hospitals is often expensive, with prices of around $1,000 per day or more being commonly reported.
  • Rates for residential rehabs typically work out to around $10,000-$20,000 per month for treatment at a standard facility, or $30,000-$80,000 at a luxury facility. These prices are for full-service programmes, which include full room and board.
  • Outpatient care is available at various price points, depending on the services required. In some cases, the following costs may be covered by private insurance and federal funding. Often, however, a deductible or co-pay will be charged as well. Rarely are the following services 100% covered by insurance.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programmes (IOPs) typically cost $300-$400 per day.
  • Psychiatrist sessions may cost $250-$350 for a single 30 to 60-minute session, with follow-up sessions of similar length costing $100 to $200.
  • Psychotherapy on an outpatient basis can cost up to $100 per hour, and many individuals may require anywhere from one to five hours a week.

Recent changes in US law have made it easier to find health insurance that provides good-quality coverage for mental health treatment. Be sure to carefully check your health insurance plan to determine the extent of your coverage in this area.

Oftentimes, the cost of care is higher than expected. Such a large expenditure is often the result of an initial stay in a hospital, which may be required to stabilise the client in preparation for their more reasonably-priced stay at a residential care facility. These significant hospital costs can be traced back to a few different factors. Hospitals in the US can charge quite high amounts for each service they provide, and the drugs they administer also tend to come at a high price point.

In many cases, this costly hospital stay could be avoided if the client (or their loved ones) are proactive in seeking help, rather than waiting until the situation turns into a full-blown emergency requiring hospital attention. Expenses can also be lowered by seeking affordable rehab treatment in other countries, where quality remains at international standards but fees are often a fraction of what the average mental health rehabilitation centre charges in countries like the US.

Attending mental health rehab abroad

Many people find the recovery process to be easier in tranquil environments, especially in places that are physically distant from one’s own neighbourhood. The novelty of being in a different location can be stimulating in a positive way, particularly if their own town or city has stressors or places that can trigger troublesome memories. Mental health rehab in a country like Thailand can provide these advantages – as well as excellent treatment standards – at a lower cost than might be available closer in one’s home country.

To learn more about overseas rehab for mental illness, and which rehab location may be most appropriate for your situation, feel free to contact us for a consultation. We provide independent, expert guidance on this issue at no cost. See below for our contact information, and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have.

Author
Cameron Brown
Psychologist
References
  1. Tracy, N. (2019, October 15). Types of Mental Health Facilities, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, March 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-illness-overview/types-of-mental-health-facilities
  2. Betterhelp. (n.d.). Types of Mental Health Professionals. Mental Health America. https://www.mhanational.org/types-mental-health-professionals.
  3. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2005. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 41.) 2 Types of Groups Commonly Used in Substance Abuse Treatment. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64214/
  4. Stensland, M., Watson, P. R., & Grazier, K. L. (2012). An examination of costs, charges, and payments for inpatient psychiatric treatment in community hospitals. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 63(7), 666–671. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201100402
  5. Ascension Seton. (n.d.). Paying for Treatment. Behavioral Health Care. https://www.seton.net/behavioral-health-care/contact/paying-treatment/.
  1. Tracy, N. (2019, October 15). Types of Mental Health Facilities, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, March 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-illness-overview/types-of-mental-health-facilities
  2. Betterhelp. (n.d.). Types of Mental Health Professionals. Mental Health America. https://www.mhanational.org/types-mental-health-professionals. 
  3. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2005. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 41.) 2 Types of Groups Commonly Used in Substance Abuse Treatment. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64214/ 
  4. Stensland, M., Watson, P. R., & Grazier, K. L. (2012). An examination of costs, charges, and payments for inpatient psychiatric treatment in community hospitals. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 63(7), 666–671. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201100402 
  5. Ascension Seton. (n.d.). Paying for Treatment. Behavioral Health Care. https://www.seton.net/behavioral-health-care/contact/paying-treatment/. 

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