Mental health provider providing support to patient; continuum of care

What happens after you leave an inpatient behavioral health facility? Does your treatment end the moment you leave the hospital or complete an addiction recovery program?

With a continuum of care model, your support doesn’t end when you leave. Rather, you need continued professional support built into your discharge plan to help you continue pursuing treatment and maintain your recovery goals.

The ongoing care and support that occurs after a primary treatment program ends are called a continuum of care. Contact Georgetown Behavioral Hospital today to learn more about mental health treatment in Ohio.

What is a Mental Health Continuum of Care?

The idea of a “continuum of care” is not new, nor does it always apply to (medical) healthcare. The term continuum of care has been used to refer to services for pregnant women from prenatal care through childbirth and parenting, addiction treatment from detox to aftercare, and mental health treatment services. It is the term used to describe the bundled care options that follow an individual through time, adapting to their changing needs.


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In mental health care, the continuum of care is now being used to describe how mental health providers follow a patient from preventive care through diagnosis, therapy, and aftercare. Depending on the patient, this might involve using acute care hospitals, residential treatment programs, and other care facilities related to mental health treatment and recovery. The coordinated effort in care means improved opportunities for outcomes for each patient. Effective treatment and support over the continuum of care requires attention to many moving parts, including the coordination of care between a variety of treatment providers.

One way to understand the continuum of care is to think of a hiking path. You begin your hike at the bottom of the trail with a comprehensive mental health program designed around your specific treatment needs. As you continue your climb, you progress through various types of therapy and peer support groups, while learning more about your mental health and coping tools you can use to avoid a relapse in symptoms. Finally, you reach the top of the mountain, where you transition into an aftercare program that helps you pursue ongoing treatment and maintain lasting recovery. The ideal continuum of care program will include various services and specialty treatments designed around your unique treatment needs.

More About the Steps of Mental Health Continuum of Care

There are several components of a continuum of care for mental health. A few key steps are outlined below.

Inpatient (residential) care

Residential treatment centers, sometimes called rehabs or rehab centers, provide treatment for various issues, including behavioral issues, mental health disorders, substance abuse, and addiction problems. Residential treatment centers are intensive, live-in facilities where patients are provided evidence-based care in a supervised setting.

Types of therapies

One of the essential components of treatment involves psychological and social therapies designed to help the individual being treated understand and manage the factors in their life that may trigger symptoms of their mental health condition. This can be especially helpful for a teen who has previously tried group therapy or other outpatient treatment options with limited or no success. Individual therapy sessions geared towards the teen’s specific needs often promote open communication and, therefore, the ability to address the root causes of symptoms.

Residential treatment centers typically provide several different treatment interventions. Depending on your treatment needs and, to some degree, your mental health diagnosis, mental health treatment professionals at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital will use a variety of evidence-based, proven mental health therapy models and recovery tools to support you in your recovery journey. Examples include:

  • dialectical behavior therapy or DBT
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT
  • trauma-informed therapy
  • group therapy sessions
  • peer support groups
  • family therapy
  • medication management
  • comprehensive discharge and aftercare planning

Conditions we treat in our mental health continuum of care program

The mental health continuum of care applies to all types of mental health treatment needs. Mental health or behavioral health conditions are disorders that have a negative impact on

thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Our skilled, professional staff in our Ohio mental health treatment program work with patients with a variety of mental health diagnoses, including:

  • anxiety
  • bipolar disorder
  • depression
  • panic attacks
  • mood disorders
  • phobias
  • affective disorders
  • grief and loss
  • psychiatric disturbances

Aftercare planning

Another significant benefit of a residential treatment program is the ability to work closely with your treatment team to ensure success after completing a treatment program. During treatment, you will develop and practice skills you will take with you after treatment to help in moments of increased stress or other situations where people or events trigger strong emotions. If you can practice and begin using the skills and resources you are learning while in treatment, you are more likely to turn to these essential practices over previously used negative coping strategies once they return home.

Recovering from a mental health condition takes time. In some instances, “recovery” means learning to safely and effectively manage symptoms. In others, a recurrence of symptoms after completing a mental health treatment program is rare. However, completing a course of treatment at an inpatient mental health facility like Georgetown Behavioral Hospital is a strong step in the right direction.

Finishing a primary treatment program does not mean you will walk out the doors of our Ohio psychiatric hospital free of all mental health challenges you faced before you arrived. Remember that it can take weeks, months, or even years of ongoing therapy appointments, medication changes, lifestyle changes, meetings with medical providers, peer support groups, learning and practicing new cooking skills, and facing and overcoming relapse triggers and fears. In the beginning, you may experience more bad days than good, but eventually, this cycle will reverse.

Get Continued Support at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital

Our Continuum of Care Model Infographic

At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, we are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal emotional and spiritual wellness before, during, and after completing a mental health treatment program at our Ohio mental health facility. This means we will work closely with you as you begin preparing for your transition back home. Transitional or aftercare planning involves planning for your discharge from the very beginning of a treatment program for a mental health condition. Also, if the home is not an ideal option following your discharge, we will help you secure safe, comfortable, long-term treatment at a facility that benefits your treatment needs.

Georgetown Behavioral Hospital focuses on ensuring a mental health continuum of care for all patients. This means we offer several additional services after completing a primary treatment program. Examples of these additional services provided after treatment include:

  • Support networks, including peer support groups and family support groups
  • Long-term therapy and counseling needs
  • Assistance locating and utilizing community and family resources
  • Medication management and prescriptions
  • Guidance in securing living and working arrangements

Living with symptoms of a mental illness can be distressing and challenging not only for the individual experiencing them but their friends, family, and others around them. Unfortunately, as with substance use disorders, few of those with mental illness ever seek or receive the care and support they need to take the first steps towards getting well.

Mental health programs offering comprehensive, evidence-based mental health treatment and a mental health continuum of care can significantly improve your daily quality of life. Contact Georgetown Behavioral Hospital today to learn more about mental health treatment in Ohio.

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