Treatment of mental illness should be viewed in the same model as treatment for medical illness. Scientifically, integrated care among multiple professionals is often needed for best results. That is why BACA maintains a multi-displinary staff and treatment focus. Different levels of mental health treatment, from least intensive to most intensive include the following:
- Outpatient Care: Appropriate for addressing mild to moderate mental health symptoms. This may include mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression, behavioral difficulties, family conflict, or be appropriate when more serious symptoms have been addressed and follow-up care is required to maintain successful treatment. Some Primary Care Practitioners (Pediatricians, Family Practice Physicians, Internal Medicine Physicians) can address these issues. Outpatient care can range from one visit per family member every other week to multiple visits for multiple family members on a weekly basis. Outpatient care usually requires a minimum committment of 6 months to cure mental health symptoms.
- Intensive Outpatient Care (IOP): Appropriate for treatment of moderate to severe mental health symptoms. These include anxiety, depression or behavioral problems that have resulted in a failure to succeed in one or more environments (such as school, work or at home). An IOP consists of at least 3 hours per day, 4 days per week of treatment in a therapeutic setting. IOP can be 5 days per week and should be customized to each child and families specific needs. IOP is often appropriate as a "step-down" treatment from a higher level of care.
BACA OFFERS BOTH OUTPATIENT AND IOP LEVELS OF CARE
Despite almost 2 million people in santa clara county, 500,000 of which are under 18, there is not a single php or inpatient treatment option for families.
- Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): Appropriate for severe mental health symptoms, but not necessarily safety issues (for example, a child who is in danger of harming themself or someone else due to mental illness). A PHP consists of at least 6 hours per day, 5 days per week in a therapeutic setting.
- Inpatient Care (Hospitalization): Appropriate when parents cannot provide for the saefty of their child. The most common cause for hospitalization is after a suicide attempt or when someone is having continued, significant suicidal thoughts and is afraid they may hurt themselves. Hospitalization, without proper follow-up care, often results in repeated trips (high recidivism) back to hospital settings.
- Wilderness Programs: If children are hospitalized repeatedly, or there is significant substance abuse, intensive programs (usually 6 weeks) where youth spend time in a therapeutic environment in the wilderness, (usually not in California) are available. Again, if proper changes to the home environment are not made during this time, there tends to be a relapse in symptoms or behaviors that are damaging. There are some Wilderness Programs that work with insurance so ask your patient relations representative with your insurance company for more information about those in-network programs.
- Residential Treatment: For extremely severe situations, where the parents cannot provide the proper home environment or a youth is continually putting themselves in dangerous situations, residential treatment becomes the only care option. Often very expensive and not covered by insurance, residential treatment programs can last several months to several years and are only an option until the child turns 18.