If you have never before been a client in a mental health or substance abuse program, taking the first step to seek treatment can be quite an overwhelming experience. Starting anything new can be anxiety provoking, even if we’re feeling well. Throw some depression or addiction problems into the mix and it can seem down right impossible. I decided to write this blog in order to fill you in on everything to expect from the time that you call GenPsych to schedule an assessment, all the way through the different levels of care we offer. We’re going to talk about everything from what the groups are like, to what you can order for lunch. My hopes are that those who might be struggling with mental illness or addiction will feel a little more at ease with the process and seek the treatment that they need and deserve.
John Mopper, MA, LAC
STEP 1 – SCHEDULING AN ASSESSMENT
An assessment can also sometimes be called an intake. Either way, you would start by calling our admissions department at 1-855-GenPsych (Pretty easy so far, right?) You will give the admissions coordinator a bit of background information and they will schedule you to come in for an appointment with our intake coordinator and a provider (Either a psychiatrist or APN). This can usually be scheduled within 24 hours of your call or sometimes even the same day. If you’re 18 or older, you’ll have to call yourself. Adolescents will have there appointments scheduled by their parents or caregivers.
STEP 2 – THE ASSESSMENT / INTAKE PROCESS
Once you enter the building, you’ll check in at the front desk and be given a small amount of paperwork to fill out. You’ll then be greeted by our intake coordinator, who will offer you some coffee or tea and take you to their office to give you all of the information you will need about our different programs and answer any questions you might have (Ask as many as you like). After meeting with our intake coordinator, you will then met with a provider for a formal assessment. He/she will ask a number of questions from how much sleep you are getting, to what different symptoms you may be experiencing. If the assessment is for an adolescent, the provider will also spend some time with a parent or caregiver in order to gain further insight.
The goals of the assessment are to:
1) Determine the level of care needed (either partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient)
2) Determine what specific track of treatment will be most helpful based upon your symptoms.
Adult tracks include: Anxiety and Trauma, Eating Disorders, General Mental Health, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders.
Adolescent tracks include: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Adherent, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Informed, Depression, Anxiety and Panic, Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring and Truancy.
STEP 3 – STARTING PROGRAM
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
If you are referred to the Partial Hospitalization Program (also know as a Partial Care Program), you will attend program 5 days per week for 4 hours a day if you an adult, or 6 hours per day if you an adolescent. The adolescent partial care program contains a 2 hour school portion of the day where you will work with certified teachers on work that is sent over from your school. Lunch is provided for both programs by a local Italian restaurant with options of different sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes. (The chicken fingers are pretty popular amongst the teens.)
If you are in the adult program, you will be assigned one of the above mentioned tracks right from the start of your partial care stay. In the adolescent partial care program, you will partake in a variety groups throughout your stay in program such as: DBT, CBT, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Yoga (Just to name a few). You will not be assigned a track until you step down to the IOP program. The approximate length of stay in partial care for both adults and adolescents is 2 weeks. The groups are extremely welcoming and we strictly enforce a safe, nonjudgmental atmosphere.
You will be assigned a therapist and provider on your first day of program. You will meet with your therapist weekly for one hour individual sessions and you will also meet with your provider weekly for medication management (medication is NOT mandatory for all clients and is handled on a case by case basis)
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
The Intensive Outpatient Program is a step down from the Partial Hospitalization Program. You can also be referred directly to the Intensive Outpatient Program at the time of your assessment, if the provider does not feel that a PHP level of care is needed. You will only attend group 3 days per week for 3 hours a day. Adults can pick any 3 days to attend in the morning, Monday through Friday from 10am to 1pm, or choose to attend in the evening from 5pm to 8pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Adult clients may also mix and match mornings and evenings if it better suits their schedule.
Adolescent clients can only attend in the evenings on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm (Tuesdays are also an optional day if one of the 3 regularly scheduled days does not suit their schedule) . Clients in both the adult and adolescent programs will still meet with their individual therapist weekly, but will only meet with their provider for medication management, bi-weekly. The average length of stay in an IOP program is anywhere from 2 to 3 months.
Transportation in the PHP program can be provided both directions within a 15 mile radius. Transportation in the IOP program can be provided one way. (This is also handled on a case by case basis and there is no charge for this service)
STEP 4 – DISCHARGE
So…you’ve made it! Your treatment in program has come to an end and it’s time to discharge. It is our responsibility to make sure you schedule an appointment with an outpatient therapist and outpatient provider. Usually, you will see your therapist once a week for a one hour session and your provider once a month for medication management. You can either see a GenPsych clinician and provider or seek treatment outside of our facility.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental illness or addiction, contact GenPsych at:
1-855-GenPsych / 1-855-436-7792